My mommy, Shelia, was my “main girl” (in my step dad's voice). Never in my wildest nightmares would I have imagined that I'd lose her in a house fire, yet on the morning of November 19, 2017, I woke up to find our family home filled with dark, thick smoke.
I heard my mother's faint scream—the last sound I would ever hear from her. It's actually what woke up me and my husband, none of us smelled the smoke. The fire started in the basement and had apparently been burning for some time while my mother, husband, oldest son and I slept upstairs. The smoke had made it to the second floor leaving me little time to account for my loved ones and get the fire department on the phone. As my husband, son, and I made our way to the safest exit, I wanted to search for my mother, but wasn't allowed near the house once I was able to make it out.
Mom must’ve panicked, thought she could outrun the heat and smoke and make it out the front door. After a long search, firemen found my mother’s body by the front door with third-degree burns. She was rushed to the hospital, in critical condition. When we arrived to the ER, we found out that she didn't make it. The cause of her death was smoke inhalation. I couldn't believe what the doctors had just told us. My heart broke into a million pieces that morning.
So many thoughts and feelings about that morning run through my mind almost daily. I deal with guilt over the fact that my boys and I made it out of the house and my mother did not. I didn't realize how much of a "mommy's girl" I was until my mother passed. I miss her more than words can describe. She was so supportive and proud of everything I had accomplished. I can’t think of a better way to honor her memory than to restore our family home.
This project is not an easy one for me. With each decision I make about this restoration, I am overcome with emotion, both good and bad. I want to make my mother proud and create a space she would love to call home. I have much work to do to restore this house, but I'm up for the challenge. I am redesigning the house from top to bottom and invite you to take this bittersweet journey with me as I breathe life back into my main girl’s house.