Yesterday I went to pick Hal up from his job. I took him to dinner at a Mongolian BBQ restaurant before coming home, and then my perspective on things changed.
As we entered the apartment complex, we saw several fire trucks in the vicinity of our building. Almost immediately I feared the worst, that somehow our building was involved, and The Stooges were inside. I could see the concern in Hal’s eyes as well, but I didn’t say a word.
It turned out that the fire happened in the building across from ours. The only inconvenience that we encountered was that I couldn’t park the Fiesta in the carport because one of the fire engines was blocking the street. I parked a distance away and we walked to our apartment.
We could see the damage to the apartment that was involved. I felt a sense of sadness because I had watched the guy moving in belongings all weekend. To find a place to live, and then put your possessions inside only to have a fire break out must have been devastating for him. Hal and I walked to our building across the street and avoided the crows of people gathered around the fire trucks.
We got inside and immediately found THe Stooges and showed them affection. They never realized how worried Hal and I had been. I went to our balcony where I could at least see the fire engine blocking my parking spot. I decided that I would wait patiently until the fire truck had departed before venturing outside again.
After 30 minutes or so, the fire truck departed. I went downstairs and moved my car to the assigned carport. When I left the car I had to pass in front of the ruined apartment, which was on the ground floor. There was a small group of people there, the guy I had seen moving, several apartment complex maintenance people and some others I didn’t know. I did walk up to the group and ask them if they needed anything immediately to help out. They thanked me but assured me that they had things under control. I hope that they were telling the truth, because I could see the shock in the guy’s face.
When I got back inside our apartment, I thought about what had happened. From the first terrible thoughts that it might have been our apartment building, to the offer to help if we could.
I thought about the crowd of people who had been gawking while the fire trucks were still there, with their cell phone cameras snapping away to capture someone else’s misfortune. I realized that I had never even been tempted to pull out my own cell phone and take pictures. When I thought back it seemed rather ghoulish to be taking pictures at a time like that, when those people probably never offered any help at all.
Therefore, I don’t have any pictures from yesterday to put on this blog post. I would like to think that even if I had taken pictures that I would have known better than to post them.
What we saw yesterday was tragedy striking someone we didn’t know. I felt personally relieved after I offered to help the person, but I neglected to get their name. It seemed like I was walking on eggshells around them because I didn’t want to seem nosey.
At the same time, I felt a strong urge to help if I could. I know that I offered, and that must suffice for now.
This blog often focuses on me and my own life. Yesterday, my perspective changed due to a tragedy.