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Examiner
  • Diane Mack: Fire can take possessions but not memories

  • This past Thursday evening, I relaxed in bed, after turning off my cell phone ringer. It had been a long day.



    When I took a quick glance at the phone, I saw a red light blinking, notifying me of several messages. I picked up the phone and saw 10 text messages from my kids.

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  • This past Thursday evening, I relaxed in bed, after turning off my cell phone ringer. It had been a long day.
    When I took a quick glance at the phone, I saw a red light blinking, notifying me of several messages. I picked up the phone and saw 10 text messages from my kids.
    The kids had read on Facebook that our friends Randy and Sheralyn had lost their home to a fire. By the time, I received the message it was too late to call the kids, Randy or Sheralyn.
    It was 16 years ago, when Randy and Sheralyn invited our family to their Blue Springs home. We had recently moved from Arizona, and the kids were happy to meet new friends and run wild.
    We sat on the porch of their picturesque newly built home and visited. The home was on a scenic wooded acreage. It was peaceful. Randy and Sheralyn made us feel like it was our home, too.
    Our families played together. We had several children the same age. I always knew Randy and Sheralyns home was safe, where my children would always be protected.
    Yes, on Thursday, May 2, 2013, Randy and Sheralyns home burned to the ground. They lost hundreds, perhaps, thousands of books, personal collectibles and decades of family memorabilia.
    Randy posted their feelings on Facebook, and I have permission to share his words, with you.
    "Right after we were married, we moved a lot. I was considering what qualified a residence to become a home.I told Sheralyn: Home is wherever you are . . .
    When we were reminded of the law of sacrifice I thought for a few moments about its implications.
    A few weeks earlier I had been reminded of Job, and his challenges . . .
    I taught a lesson about consecration several weeks ago in Gospel Doctrine. A General Authority was quoted to the effect that whatever possessions we give up provide us little spiritual benefit for they are all gifts to us from the Lord. The only gift we truly lay upon the altar of the Lord is our free will and agency. We know we should not covet the property of others. We are also warned to not covet our own property . . .
    Today after school one of the secretaries asked me,"Why are you at school today? Why did you come to school?"
    I answered with a smile, "I couldn't stay at home."
    Our fox was not disturbed, but the birds nesting in the birdhouse on the porch are gone . . .
    We did have some unfinished projects. Sheralyn was making festive covers for outdoor cushions. I had some children's furniture with joints to be glued. I had correspondence to answer, Christmas cards to reciprocate. All these unfinished projects are gone. To that extent, this is a relief, a release. Someone said our possessions exert a power over us. With fewer possessions we have more independence. We don't need to find a place for them, insure or protect or repair and care for them.
    Page 2 of 2 - We can replace the camera, but not the photographs, the piano, but not the books and sheet music we played as teenagers. We can replace the hat, but not the pins and badges collected from all over the country. The merit badges, Eagle, Duty to God and 50 mile hike in 19 hour medals are gone together with my favorite neckerchief slide. Where is my grandfather's red Swiss Army knife?
    Our friends and relatives have opened their arms, their homes, and their closets. We are well cared for, and have appreciated and felt much love.
    The main thing which we did not lose was family members, and memories. This will become another great memory. It might become a chapter in our book . . . of life."
    (If you are interested in contributing to the two families who were affected by the fire, please email me at jacksoncountyfamilyweek@yahoo.com for the specific donation location and need)
    Diane Mack is coordinator of Putting Families First, Jackson Countys Family Week Foundation. Email her at jacksoncountyfamilyweek@yahoo.com or visit www.jacksoncountyfamilyweek.org.
     
     
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