Some of my long-time readers (are any of you still out there?) may know that I used to live in Northern California. My dad’s side of the family is from there, I was born there, and it’s where I spent my college years and beyond. Match was born and raised there, and the majority of his family still lives there and the surrounding area. It’s where Match and I met, and where we fell in love. It’s where we were married.
And now it’s being ravaged by fires. The fires are so heartbreaking, and so close to our former and home away from home. Match’s aunt and uncle lost their beautiful home on the hill. The home where we had so many family gatherings and played bocce. It was a home his uncle helped to design, and they had put their heart and soul into it, as we all do with our homes.
Match’s parents were lucky enough to keep their home, losing only their shed, but their entire neighborhood was destroyed, except one other home behind theirs. It was far too close for comfort, and we were so grateful they were visiting all of us up here in Oregon when the fires started.
My great aunt and uncle also lost their home of over 20+ years. It is so devastating for them, as I know they didn’t have much. Thank god they were safe.
And then there is Couple Family. Some of my readers may remember Couple Wife, my dear friend who helped me so many times, and has always been a wonderful friend. Her husband grew up with Match and they’ve known each other their whole lives. They lost their home and everything in it, including their beloved family kitten. They barely made it out before the fire struck their home, and my heart aches for their loss. This is all that is left of their home.
All of our family and friends are alive, and for that we are so, so grateful. I know everything else is just things, or just a place, but so many memories were made there. I’m praying the fires stop soon, and our loved ones can start the healing process. All of our displaced family and friends who had to evacuate will get to go home, and the ones who lost so much can start to rebuild. It will take years before things will look remotely the same.
Things like this make you hold your family closer, and be grateful for all that we have. It has made us come up with a plan in case of emergency, and a list of the irreplaceable things we would take with us if we had minutes to get out.
Thinking of all those affected by this fire. We love you, Sonoma County, and I hope this nightmare is over soon.