Surviving The Fire
On March 7, 1999, my husband, six sons, and I faced an unimaginable tragedy. We awoke to a 4
alarm house fire that resulted in the death of our 22-month twin son, severe injuries to myself
and the other twin, and the complete loss of all of our earthly possessions. The road to recovery
was long and hard. By the grace of God, we survived.
They Needed Me
In the beginning, I threw all of my energy into the recovery of my five surviving children. All of
my efforts were spent trying to make sure that they were stable, happy, and secure. I totally
ignored my state as a survivor with the exact same needs as those of my children. Instead, I
assumed the role of Caretaker. I was the Mother. Translation – the responsible one.
The harder I worked the worse I felt as a Mom.
Something Was Missing
I was pouring out everything that I had inside. The problem was I wasn’t taking time to refuel
myself. I did have the support and love of my husband, church family, and loved ones. That was
the gas that kept me going. But I was missing the transmission fluid. The fluid that allows the
transmission to shift gears. That’s a fluid that only I could provide. I had to pause and include in
my caregiver role, care for myself.
It’s Not a Sin
When we take care of ourselves it does not have to be at the expense of taking care of your
child. Taking care of you does not automatically translate into neglect. As a matter of fact, it is
quite the opposite. Care for others is pulled from deep reservoirs within the heart. You cannot
Care for others is pulled from deep reservoirs within the heart. You cannot put out what is not inside of you.
Make sure you take time to get your needs taken care of. It will make the job a lot easier.
The Job Got Done
It was not easy, but the job got done. Eventually, I was able to include myself in my caregiving
role. It was a delicate business. When I did something for myself I felt it was time wasted that
could have been used helping the kids. Yet, the better I felt the more I was able to help my
You can do it, too! Love yourself as much as you love them! Have a Happy Mother’s Day everyone!