“You shouldn’t have come”, with tears in his eyes. My response was “and if the shoe had been on the other foot, what would you have done?” His response was “I would’ve come” My response, “Then please, don’t tell me what I should and should not have done.”
This conversation took place when we were still cleaning up the property in town some 9 months after the fact and was in relation to the fires and my escapades 8 hours after the fact.
He’s not coping, my mother pretends she is coping. I’m not coping, but like mother, like daughter I pretend I am coping. Deep down I know I am not.
There are many other people like me and my parents out there. We are all pretending we are managing; we have to for our family and our friends.
The posting of this into the blog is somewhat delayed from when it was written, simply due to other posting material which has been previously written and yet, this material could be posted some 12 months down the track and I am sure it would read exactly the same way.
Yesterday the 19th November 2009, saw the first day that could have posed a threat to my family, and I spent the entire day at work, thanking my lucky stars that my daughter was not home and praying that nothing would happen. There are people on my street that have no-one to care for them other than me. I was the only person on Black Saturday that stayed in contact with them and made sure that they were aware of what was going on and who they would be going with if and when the path of the fire changed.
South Australia and Victoria have had record breaking temperatures in the last 48 hours and I think that is only going to get worse. Hotter nights, even hotter days, winds and storms will increase and with that the increase in lightening strikes and fires getting away from our esteemed fire-fighters. As I have said previously and will continue to say, firefighters, paid and unpaid are our lifeline. Without them, these fires would devastate everything we know.
My father lost many friends, his home town of 40 years has been wiped from the face of the earth. There are 173 people dead, there are 1000’s of displaced people, wondering if they should re-build, wondering if they should move on. Wondering what life holds in store for them. Spare a thought, not just for those that lost their lives, but for those that have to live with the memory of those losses and the loss of property and their job and everything they once knew.
BTW – just because it has been said, doesn’t make it right, neither does it make it wrong. It just needed to be said to clear the air.
We all do things we sometimes regret, both words and actions, I regret neither. I did what had to be done and it shows that one woman in action can do much more than words.
Stay strong, stay safe and remember if you don’t feel safe, get out and save your life (and your mind). It is not just the event, but it is what you see and hear that can affect you for as long as you live.