Eight hours ago our very close friends were told they needed to leave their home for fears of a partially uncontained wild fire was headed their way. Chris and I stopped our evening to head out that way to help them. As we got ourselves ready to head out I looked at my teenager and started thinking about what would we do. As we drove home that evening from base we saw the smoke billowing through the hills in a field across from where we live. As far fetched as it might seem the way this fire is going it could be a harsh reality for us also.
I sat on my friends bed watching her figure out what she needed, her wedding dress (she is getting married in a few weeks), photos, clothing, all important documents for her and her children, and anything else she could think of in her moment of a controlled panic. Its all Chris and I could do to just ease the discomfort by adding light humor and our own sound advice as he is a fireman, I thought about more and more my two boys at home.
Before we left I found our notebook and packet with all sorts of information about H. I reminded Sean of the signs on our doors to alert first responders of H and his Autism. I put all his paper work, his back pack with a change of clothing, medication and his therapeutic supplies, the dogs leash and a set of house keys. I told Sean that there would be minimal to no cell service due to the towers being burnt down so to call Seth if anything happened. He was instructed to not leave the house without the three of them in tow and to only do so if instructed and to contact the emergency contacts if we were not reachable.
I began to think about the amount of pressure I just placed on my teenage son. They accountability he now has for our family. How my lack of preparation has now just sort of piled more responsibility onto him. However without batting an eye he was confident and assured me that this was all good. Thankfully that bag was not needed nor none of the other things but he was prepared if need be.
We sat for about 3 hours tonight at our friends house. Smelling the fire, seeing the smoke and watching the neighbors load up their cars. I watched children bring out bags and toys, I saw families with worry and concern on their faces, I saw friends and family come together and do what they needed to help their loved ones get to safety. It makes your heart hurt to see that. You never want to see someone lose everything they worked so hard to gain.
We know many of those out their on the front line trying to contain this beast. We pray for their safety and have faith they can put this out. We pray that this weather starts to cooperate and that we can get some relief to these folks. I pray my friend doesn't lose what her and her fiance have worked so hard to get. I pray that they are not told tonight to leave their home and pray for the best. I pray none of us have to ever face a situation like this.