Wow. You’d think I’d have something a bit more profound to say, but perhaps I’m still in shock. So, wow. Here’s a quick update:
* We’re all OK. We were at church during the fire.
* Our house did burn, but is still standing. The fireman said it was likely because it’s winter, and the house was sealed up, so there wasn’t enough oxygen to keep the flames going. The part of the house where the main electrical line comes in is completely burned away, you can look down into the crawlspace from the bedroom door. While not official, the firemen think the main line in the crawl space is what caused the fire.
* Sadly, our 2 dogs (Tigger & Tux), our cat (Kiki), and my sister in law’s 2 dogs (Bruno & Ella) all perished in the fire. Their loss is the roughest part right now, as everything else that was lost is just stuff.
* The insurance company wasn’t reachable today. While I’m not sure if they’ll consider the house a complete loss, or will requisition to have it fixed, rest assured we do have insurance.
But all that isn’t why I came into work so I could update my website. The world could have waited a day to find out more details. I decided to drive into my office and update my website (while Donna is off buying underwear and such) because of how amazing everyone has been to us. Here’s a few of the things, other than our house burning down, that have been going on today:
* Before the fire was even extinguished, we had a place to stay tonight offered by friends.
* Before the fire trucks were gone, another friend from town offered to let us stay in a rental property he has while our insurance things are being worked out.
* The Red Cross tracked us down and gave us money to buy food and clothes.
* My cellphone (the one I have with me, my personal cellphone was in the house) hasn’t stopped buzzing from emails, tweets, facebook messages, text messages, etc. I have cried more today due to the outpouring of love than I have from the grief of loss. There really aren’t words to relay my thanks.
* Linux Journal put up a “Chip In” page, which is literally a link that people can send us money directly to my paypal account. It’s 7:00PM, and there’s already over two thousand dollars donated. That’s real money from real people, and we’re really humbled.
I really don’t know what to say. I really don’t. “Thank You” certainly doesn’t seem sufficient, but I think it’s all I can offer. So many people have contacted me, that I have no hope of responding to everyone, at least not in the short term. Just know that you’ve made me cry, in a good way, and today — that’s quite a feat.
So again, thank you. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. Thank you for your emails. Thank you for you cash donations. Thank you for caring. Because really, if nothing else, I’ve felt as though we are important to you all, and that has been amazing to experience.
-Shawn, from work.