and then I called Dad

1/14/2011 09:41:00 PM

Today started out like any other normal, average day.  Nate left for school and I fed the remaining kids and then hopped on the computer.  I posted a blog post.  I read some blog posts.  Made lunch and waited for Nate to come home.  My Dad dropped Nate off and told me about all the things he had planned to do this afternoon.  He told me about how he didn't respond to an earlier car fire because he knew that I wouldn't be able to go out and get Nate with such short notice.  He told me he was meeting Mom for lunch then doing some work at home before the kids came up to spend the night.  He had some stuff that he needed to get done so he could enjoy the Steeler game tomorrow.

I gave him a hug and kiss and thanked him for getting Nate and not making me get the kiddos all bundled up to rush out there to get him.  We laughed about me still being in my pajamas.

I went back to doing what I normally do.  I made sure Nate and Danika ate their lunch.  I changed the babies and carried them upstairs.  The babies weren't quite settled, so I decided to jump back online before I took my shower.  I was responding to an email when I thought I heard my doorbell buzzing.  The doorbell has NEVER worked.  It makes this clicking, buzzing sound but it's not always audible.  Then I heard banging on the front door.  I got up and looked out.  It was my next door neighbor's daughter holding their little dog, Baby.  She asked if they could come in because their house was on fire.  I looked out and sure enough there were flames shooting out of the basement and smoke EVERYWHERE.  It's a crazy thing how I remember every detail of my conversation with my Dad before the knock on the front door but the time from the knock to when we walked back into the house 5 hours later is just a big blur.

I called 911 and told them about the fire and then I called Dad.

I knew he would stop what he was doing and come to the house.  I knew he would know what I should do.  I knew he would keep me calm and make sure that the kids and the house were okay.  I knew that he would make me feel better and he did.

My neighbor's house after the fire

Damage to the side of our house

Between the two houses
Apparently, I called Dad as he was taking his second bite of lunch with Mom.  I don't remember exactly what I said to him.  I'm sure it was along the line of 'The neighbor's house is on fire and it's shooting flames out and there is smoke everywhere'.  He told me to get the kids dressed.  He was on his way.

When I talked to him later, he told me that he was already standing up and putting his coat on before he even said a word to me.  My Mom was looking at him with that panicked look someone gets when they are witness to a call like that but can't hear the person on the other end.

My Dad beat the fire trucks.  My Dad stood outside in the cold for 5 hours to make sure that the house was okay while I sat in a warm ambulance and at my Mother-in-Law's house with the kids.  My sister took the "big" kids so that they could play with their cousin and get their minds off of the fire.  My husband came home (he was the third call I made - and I must have scared the crap out of him because he kept saying, "You really didn't sound like yourself.  You didn't sound like you.").  We are back in our house tonight...but our neighbors won't be returning tomorrow.  :(

My Dad has been a volunteer fireman for as long as I can remember.  I've never actually thought about how scary fires are until last year when there was a fire down the block from us.  My Dad walked down in between what he was doing to check on the kids and let me know what was going on.

Today, he wasn't in his fire gear.  He said 50 people must have asked him about it and he had to explain that he came right here because I called...I don't think one of those 50 people thought twice about his answer because they know my father and if one of his girls calls then that's where he will be.  I will admit that I'm a bit of a Daddy's girl.  I love my mother and we really are lucky to have a great relationship.  There are things that I talk about with my mom, girl stuff and mom stuff and relationship stuff, that I wouldn't talk about the same way with my Dad because he wouldn't understand.  My Mom understands me.  However, my Dad is the one who I strive to make proud.  My Dad is the one that I always look to for approval and advice on the big things.  My Dad has always been my hero.  He was my hero today, too.

Dad with Danika ~ picture by Sofabean Photography

Danika and Dad ~ picture by Sofabean Photography

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