What would you miss?

I read this story this morning about 97 military families losing their household goods due to a warehouse fire in Germany.  I can’t stop thinking about them.  These are families that are currently in transition from one home to the next.  They are starting a new life in a new place, a new country.  Now they have lost absolutely everything.  Everything they didn’t take with them on the plane.

Thankfully these families weren’t hurt in the fire, and hopefully they will get some help setting up a new home, but the fact remains that they just lost some incredible memories.  I think about my own child and I know how important it will be to keep things consistent when we move.  For her to have her same “stuff”.  It’s part of what we use to sell our kids on a move.  “You’ll get to take all your things with you!”, we say.  I wonder how many kids tonight are grieving the loss of their things.  How many people are regretting not packing “that thing” in their luggage they took with them to keep it safe.  I think about these families and imagine them sitting around trying to make a list of all the things they will need to replace just to create a home, and also talking about all the things they will never see again.

I wonder what was most important to them?  A piece of furniture that had been in the family for years?  A collection of books? Childhood toys? Pictures?

I know for me it would be my pictures.  For some reason, I feel like without my pictures I will lose some of my memories that I only seem to recall when I look at the picture.  I make an effort to back them up onto an external drive in case my laptop crashes.  I upload a bunch of them to an online storage site so the family and friends and see them.  But truth is, I can’t protect them all.

Our stuff.  It can be lost in the blink of an eye, yet we attach so much value and importance to it as a society.  I hope that in the midst of all this loss, that these families are able to come together to form friendships and relationships and bonds that will last a lifetime.  Much longer than any of their stuff.  I hope they are able to get the help they need to get through this.  I hope they have hope.

2 comments to What would you miss?

  • I’ve thought about this a lot. As long as all my kids make it, I’d be just fine.
    Maya had a nightmare some time ago about our house burning down. She said: the house caught on fire and we were all outside just watching it.
    I stopped her and said: We were all out of the house?
    Yes.
    Then, there’s no problem. We can replace everything in the house; we just can’t replace all of you!

    • Midlife Army Wife

      Of course the people are most important, without a doubt. I was just referring to stuff because in the instance of this story the people weren’t even near their stuff when it was lost in the fire, so they weren’t in danger.

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