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It’s a cold, quiet, snowy day today. I had a few good cries over the weekend over Roscoe, over Dusty, and over the reality of thinking “Oh, I have one of those,” followed seconds later by, “No, it burned up”. On some days, depending on what I’m doing or where my untethered thoughts drift, that last thought sequence can happen a dozen times a day. It makes me pretty sad when it does.

Yesterday was a work holiday and I ventured into in the quasi-big city for groceries. A stop at a thrift store dropped the blessing of a baker’s dozen of books by one of my favorite authors, P.G. Wodehouse. My well-curated collection was lost in the fire, and these were even the same editions. I felt like I was looking at my own now-gone shelves. Granted, I have a long way to go to build back my library of his work, but this gift made me feel that my angels were with me.

When my angels are with me, one of two things happen. If it’s at night, I see twinkling blue lights in front of me. I think of it as the “Blue Light Special”. The night of December 30, when I went to bed, there were so many of them that I was reminded of the fireflies in the backyard on summer nights when I was young. During the day, the angels let me know they’re with me by a tingling on my scalp and a warm gentle feel of an arm around my shoulder, or a brush of a kiss on my cheek. All comforts that make my heart ache with joy and gratitude. I have not forgotten them and it’s so nice to know that they have not forgotten me.

The sifters came yesterday, a lovely group of Baptist volunteers from northern Texas. They prayed before getting started, which was nice, and diligently worked for a few hours, focusing on the areas where I thought they’d most likely find things. Sadly, they came up disappointingly short, being unable to find anything from my trunks or any remnants of the two antique rifles from ex-Pat’s family. I had no expectations for the search, only faint hope.

They found some very charred items from a silver tray that sat on one of the dressers, but no trace of the tray itself. They found the lid to a small porcelain dish that I think came from my grandmother. They found two china pomanders from my Mother that had been in K’s dresser drawers. One of the sifters shouted “Hold up your hands!” and threw one to me from about 20 feet away. Which I caught. Had I not caught it and had it broken, I’m pretty sure I’d have been pissed. I know one of the other volunteers (a lady) scolded him for taking the risk of the toss.

They also found the remnants of several pairs of handcuffs. Not something I felt compelled to explain. Though I did feel like they prayed extra hard for me once they finished sifting.

But their most precious find was a ring. A single stone with three smaller stones on each side. The stone looks blue to me in most lights, though MKL saw hints of pink and purple. The thing is…..I don’t know this ring. I had a costume ring when I was little that had a blue solitaire but no other stones. It burned up in the trunks. So this is not that ring. Had it been a diamond or even glass, it wouldn’t have survived the heat.

Curiously, it fits the third finger of my left hand perfectly. Like it was made for me. Ex-Pat only gave me one ring – my engagement/wedding ring, which I have. I have my great grandmother’s and grandmother’s engagement rings. I have my Mother’s wedding band. It is none of those. My Dad gave me an amethyst ring – it’s not that. It is truly a ring from the fire. Just as the Bungalow insisted that I put a ring on it before I moved out (which I did, and which the tenants have left hanging on its ceiling hook), I think my cozy first house has given me a ring to forever tie us together, to confirm our commitment even in its passing. So for now, I’m wearing it, above my current durable silicone wedding band, until I feel like I don’t need to anymore, which will happen.

I know that sounds a little crazy. I think I’m just a little crazier than usual these days.

November 2022


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