A Christmas Visit to Mom’s
As an early Christmas present to my Mom I flew to Colorado Springs for a quick weekend trip – flying in Friday and out on Monday. Mom is 88 and still lives in her home which fortunately is only 2 doors from my sister’s. My sister had been busy getting the house all decorated for Christmas, the tree was dressed and everything was festive. Mom and I had a great weekend. I packed away some of my Dad’s antique banks and toys and unpacked some of my mom’s things. Two years ago they moved from a 5 bedroom home to a 2 bedroom town home and there just isn’t room for everything to be out. Mom still hadn’t gotten her family pictures hung so we spent much of Sunday hanging over 40 family pictures on the walls and at midnight Sunday we quit with still more to go realizing we just weren’t going to get it all done on this trip.
Mom went to bed, I checked emails and packed to leave at 7:30 AM. At 4:30 I woke up to the smell of smoke. I got up, checked on Mom and then checked the house. As I headed back to get mom up, I began to see smoke. Fortunately, she also woke up to the smoke and was already out of bed. We saw the ceiling in her bedroom begin to turn brown, I had the phone in my had dialing 911 as I directed Mom & her walker through the house. By the time we were getting into the car in the drive way the fireman were hooking up the firehouses.
Mom reluctantly went to the ER to be monitored for smoke inhalation. We were both coughing, had watery eyes and sore throats. The hospital checked her out and she was at my sister’s in a couple of hours. Mom’s house is a mess, but amazingly the contents only have smoke damage. None of the antique furniture, family photos or anything has fire or water damage. The fire was an electrical fire in the ceiling – probably from a hall ceiling light we had on while we hung photos. Mom’s clothes are probably the most damaged from smoke and insulation.
I didn’t make my flight. There was no way I was flying off with all of this happening and leaving it all to my sister. Within 3 hours, the insurance adjuster was there and was there most of the day. I never thought I’d sing the praises of an insurance company, but I am seriously thinking of switching to American Family! The adjuster hired a clean up contractor who is handling everything. Even the Christmas ornaments will get the ozone treatment. The structural damage, new pain, new carpet (YEA!) and move in will take about 3 months. The insurance company has hired special movers to pack the antique family dishes and everything else. They will store it and move it all back and unpack it.
The fire department was also incredible. I left in the When they first let us in to take a peak, there was sooty insulation from one end of the house to the other. When the fire crews left 5 hours later, they had vacuumed it all up – we were shocked at what a great clean up job they did. On my first trip into the house, I saw a book on the kitchen counter titled This Too Shall Pass. That became my motto for the day. I’d think Orange Blossom and this too shall pass and just let go.
There was some family stress as some wanted to start emptying the house and I had to keep telling them to not touch anything – it will be taken care of. My goal was to minimize the work for my sister. Mom is flying with me today to Bainbridge Island where she hopefully will stay until she can move back home. Throughout the day contractors kept showing up wanting business – one even came while the fire department was still hooking up their hoses! Fortunately we don’t have to deal with any of them.
The blessings in all this is that Mom is OK and her 88 years of family treasures are all OK. When she moves in she will have the new carpet she wanted and everything will be clean and fresh. Most importantly, we all thank God that Mom is OK. I was also pleased to know that she got up on her own and out of bed. My wife and I are excited to have Mom come and stay with us, we have wanted that.
I don’t care who you are, the events of Monday would have pushed your stress buttons. Throughout the day I kept saying Orange Blossom and would feel relaxation – not totally relaxed, but certainly better. I had a headache that felt like it could easily go to a migraine from the smoke I inhaled and from being in the house. I used self hypnosis to mitigate the headache and so there was no migraine. Hypnosis worked miracles for stress management and I remarked to my family that everyone should learn hypnosis so that they can manage there thoughts and emotions for stress reduction. When you have fire in your life, Orange Blossom can sure help put it out.
While my family is glad that all the stuff is undamaged, the fire brought home that life is most important. What a wonderful reminder for this Christmas.
I thank all my clients for your patience and well wishes as I have canceled and rescheduled with you. I appreciate you so much.
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This too shall pass.
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