Sometime the middle of the night, at some point in the Spring of 1977, Mother woke us.
She was hurried.
She was serious.
Something was wrong.
I learned about loss that night. I would get to know the feelings of hardship. It would be the first time I had ever seen my daddy cry.
Prior to that night, our family had been enjoying a season of splendor. Days were filled with much laughter. Much joy. Even as a very young child I could see the value of hard work. I witnessed a community, working together, building the Wilsey Lumber Yard strong. It was a time of rejoicing. Of giving thanks.
And then suddenly, in the dark of night, began a season of sorrow. Daddy’s business became a smoldering heap of ash.
This new moment? Confusion. Disbelief. An abrupt introduction to mourning.
These are the devastations we could choose to stash away and forget.
Forget the tears.
Forget the loss.
Forget the ashes.
But what if we choose to remember? What if we choose to share the disappointments that make us cry? What if we choose to share those memories that we would rather forget?
That moment, the memory, becomes truly significant.
And we can be changed.
And those ashes? They can become a song of hope. Yes. In their own way, they can become beautiful.
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