In my 60 years of life I have found that all life experiences are important, happen for a reason, and give us an opportunity to learn and grow.
On Feb. 1, our lives changed when a chimney fire destroyed our house and 40 years of memorabilia.
It has been said that a person’s true character surfaces when there under stress and facing real adversity. What I learned that terrible Friday night was that I should not comment on something that I know absolutely nothing about.
Also, these dedicated and well trained firefighters’ character emerges every time the fire alarm goes off. They put themselves in harm’s way and risk their lives every day. They run in when others run out. What Elwanda and I also learned is that we were surrounded by heroes.
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Heroes like Dudley the police officer who probably saved my wife’s life by keeping her from running into the burning house to get our 40 years of family photos.
Like the firefighter who found our dog Dudley and our cat Mister in the smoke and saved their lives.
And the hero that found the burnt and smoky American flag that draped our fathers’ casket in 1956. He so carefully and respectfully carried this flag and presented it to me in the same manner it was presented to my mother 57 years ago.
Thank you to the group of heroes who came back Saturday to search for our missing cat. One of the firefighters moved some rubble in the corner of the bathroom and sure enough the cat had survived inside through the entire ordeal.
Elwanda and I cannot express our gratitude enough. Thank you to everyone that helped us survive that night. I said earlier the fire destroyed our house and our memorabilia. But it did not destroy our home and memories.
P.S. And the cat is doing just fine.
The writer lives in Conway.