Think about your house. Think about all of the big things inside of your house – tables, chairs, couches, beds, dressers, book shelves, pool table, bath tub, the piano. Think about all of the smaller things in your house – medications, inhalers, dishes, clothing, books for that shelf, jewelry, soap, memory cards, batteries, animal heads, plants, souvenirs from vacations past, passports, cameras, tents, backpacks, boots, climbing gear, bikes, hammocks. Think about all of the electronics in your house – TVs, computers, phones, lamps, hair dryer,fans, extension cords. Think about all of the personal things in your house – photographs of your great grandparents on their wedding day, photos of your kids, angel figurines that your mother collected, all those wooden mallards your mom bought for your dad, the stuffed animal your boyfriend gave you. What else is in your house? Food, heater, ac unit, generator, washer/dryer, vacuum cleaners, blankets, sleeping bags, pillows, cribs, toys, Nintendos, little league trophies, windows. What about out back? There’s the garden, the tall, beautiful oak trees, chickens, the garage, three cars, work tools, portable heaters, the tree house you spent years of your life in. What about a home office, a hair salon in the basement, a painting business running from out of your attic, a woodwork shop in the shed. Just think about every little and big thing that is in your house, your garage, your backyard…
Now, imagine all of that is gone. It was there one moment and not there the next. Everything completely disappeared except for some scraps of wood and metal laying in a pile on the ground where all of this once stood. Nothing. That house you built with your own two hands, the masterpiece that you spent ten years creating, gone. That heater that kept your family warm on a cold, windy night, gone. The electricity you used to charge your cell phone to keep in touch with your friends and family, gone. The water you need to drink and the food eat to stay alive, gone. Everything gone in an instant. And, it’s not coming back any time soon.
I know I have just described a big pile of things. Things. Things that can be replaced even if it takes time. Things that will never be as important as the people you love and care about. But, even though a house is really just a thing, it’s a devastating thing to lose. It’s your shelter from the cold, the rain, the soon to be freezing temperatures. The place that holds the food you need to survive and keeps those that you love safe. It’s a big thing to have taken away from you. Especially if you have nowhere else to go and no way to call for help.
Just think about it.