I know I haven’t written a Thursday Thought in a while, but this one I can’t ignore. As I talked about Monday and Tuesday, this week is Fire Safety Week. (Some of this will be repetitive, so bear with me.)
Growing up, Fire Safety was something we practiced at school twice a year. We were encouraged to go home and make a family plan, but our family never did. Now, to be clear, my parents loved us and cared about our well-being. I just never brought it to their attention because, honestly, I thought I knew how to get out of my house in the event of a fire. But, now that I have children, I feel completely different. Not to mention that fires seem so much more common these days than when I was a child. Or maybe I just didn’t watch the news. Well, whatever the case, our family is taking Fire Safety very seriously.
There are several reasons I take this so seriously. One being, that we homeschool and my kids are not being taught fire safety elsewhere. Another, as I mention before, is because fires seem to be so prevalent these days. And it isn’t just the “projects” or run-down neighborhoods. Nice and very expensive houses are going up in flames too! Fire is not prejudice – it can strike anywhere, anytime.
But, the main reason I am so adamant about Fire Safety, is I have personally seen the damage and affect it has on a family. Several years ago, probably more like 7-8 years now, dear family friends lost not only their home, but two of their children in a house fire. It was a cold Sunday morning in January, when one of our ministers told the congregation about the fire. I remember sitting in shock and dismay as I replayed his words in my head, over and over. I just wanted to sit and cry. One of their children was pronounced dead at the scene and another one was clinging to life in the burn unit at the hospital.
When I heard who was in the burn unit, my heart sank. It was a sweet, young lady named Hannah. I was her Sunday School teacher when she was two. She was the one who gave me the name, Manette, because she couldn’t say Miss Annette. Her smile and laugh were contagious even then. Having been away at college I had not seen her for several years. She had grown into a beautiful young girl with a heart for Jesus.
I believe it was two days later when the doctors and family agreed that Hannah was no longer “there” and they took her off life support. My heart sank when I heard the news that she was indeed gone. Losing two of their children and all their belongings was more than I could bear, so I couldn’t even begin to imagine the heartbreak they felt.
“M”, the mom, was so strong and faithful, relying on God to give her strength she knew only He could provide. I am not sure I would be that strong or put together for months after, let alone days.
Even though this family has moved away from us here, they are still in my heart. I think of them often and wonder if Hannah was waiting for my Dad at the gates. (Hannah and my Dad had a special relationship, as he and my mom also taught the two year old class at church.) I know she is taking care of her baby brother, who also perished in that fire and just waiting for all of us to join her one day.
So, you see…that’s why Fire Safety is So Important to me. I have not lost anyone in my family (that I’ve personally known) to a fire, but I have lost a friend. And that is enough for me to take extra time and precautions for my own family.
Won’t you take 30 minutes or an hour out of your week to talk to your kids about Fire Safety and steps you can take to prevent fires? Make it a game, make itFUN, but whatever you do – MAKE APLAN!!
Thanks for stopping by today. View my other posts about Fire Safety.
Tuesday – Teaching Your Kids about Fire Safety (lots of FREE printables)
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