Just over a week ago, Monday, February 11, 2019, our a-frame cabin that we have been renovating for the past year burned to the ground. It’s been a hard week and I thought if I stepped away from everything for a little bit, I would be able to come back with all the answers to the questions I’m sure you have. To maybe lift some of the emotional weight that so many of you have lifted from me over the past week—thank you. But the truth is, I don’t have all the answers and I told our friends, I know it’s all going to be okay in time, but right now—I’m just sad. So we’ve been taking time to just mourn over the loss of everything we worked hard on, everything we were looking forward to, all the things that the cabin was for us. And it has been rejuvenating, in a way. I think if we jump right from tragedy to “everything happens for a reason” (which, I don’t neccessarily believe, although I do believe good can come from everything) then we lose out on a lot of grieving and learning and healing that has to take place and is still very much taking place on our end.
In this grieving the past week, a lot of tears have been shed in gratitude. If you follow me on Instagram stories, you know that the weekend leading up to the fire, we went up to our cabin as a family and Chris and I renovated the bathroom in the loft area in between dance parties and hot chocolate and morning dips in the hot tub. We left Sunday morning, and on Monday morning Chris got the text with a video our cabin on fire from a mechanic in the area. We easily could have been there as an entire family. We left 24 hours before and were headed up the morning of the fire to take photos of the bathroom we had just completed. We could have been there. Ultimately, that is what has been keeping me up at night. Multiple fire investigators are still working to determine the cause, though right now we think it started in the furnace room. I go through it all in my head over and over, what it would have been like to get our whole family out safely if we had been there. Lots of anxiety and trauma around the what-ifs, that I’m working to let go of.
Monday morning, Chris had just dropped our oldest off at school and he called me. His voice was shaking when he said “I just want to preface this by saying, “Everything is going to be okay. Our cabin is on fire.”
We both collapsed on the floor in tears when he got home and just kept repeating “how?! HOW?! I don’t understand?” The fire department was already on the scene and it was a long 70 minute drive to the cabin. We didn’t talk or listen to anything. Just cried.
And I know it sounds strange, because there was nothing living in the cabin when the fire broke out (thankfully!), but sometimes I just start crying thinking about when the fire started, how the cabin must have been feeling. I can’t help but feel like it was scared. That it was screaming. That ultimately, it coaxed us to leave Sunday morning sooner than we had planned, so we could be safe. To us, our a-frame had a pulse. We had only bought her 15 months prior, but it felt like a part of our family. I feel like I lost a member of our family that we had shared two Christmases with. One glorious summer. Girls weekends and couples weekends. Endless family overnighters. We fixed her up and made her our own and poured so much love into her and in return, we get to keep all those memories.
Don’t wait. I say it often, but it bears repeating now, don’t wait to make memories. Don’t wait until the walls are painted or the holes are patched or the shiny new appliances arrive to make happy memories in your home. It’s the reason we do what we do, and it’s what we have left now. And I’m so grateful.
We don’t have all the answers to what’s next. But we know we’re lucky. And we’re alive. And we have a big community cheering us on. And that makes me know that something good is going to come from these dark days. And whatever that looks like, we’ll always remember fondly our dear cabin, and how much we loved it.