What makes a house a home? It’s not just the construction, although when you’re dealt a disability of physical challenges, it can be. It’s not just the furniture, or the wall hangings, or the rugs, or the plates and vases and knick knacks and overflowing boxes of old photos you haven’t yet put into albums and the albums you did get to and various projects of your creation in development and the food in the pantry and flower filled pots on your steps and the color scheme you picked for the western facing part of the house and the right tools to improve and the things you have forgotten about but still store in your space. It’s not just the shared memories of good times and bad; it’s the literal and often metaphorical foundation of your life — a reflection of your passions, desires, sensibilities, stability.
To lose almost everything of that in a single stroke of catastrophe coupled with fierce pride and self determination and a desire to live off the grid has happened to Helen. She got out with her life and her two dogs, one a service dog. She lost her two beloved cats and everything in and including her house.
I live a life where I recognize deeply that I can fulfill my passions and be surrounded by comfort without benefit of a huge bank account but by the things that I measure of value — the comfort of supporitve and loving relationships, healthy and amazing daughters who endlessly enchant me, my menagerie of animals who almost equally enchant me, even my soft and comfy furniture kept safe by the roof, four walls and floor of my house. I don’t know how I would be if tested by a similar catastrophic event, but I know that networking is the key to change and that sometimes it’s okay to accept help.
If you live or know someone in West Virginia of thereabouts who might be able to help out, please send the link to The Helen Fund. And remember to give a loved one a hug, or a pat on the head or a belly rub.