This morning I am humbled.
Yesterday I could do nothing except complain about things that today, seem trivial.
Last night, at 1:52 a.m. I awoke to someone outside my apartment building yelling "Fire!" "Get out!". I could faintly hear the beep of a smoke alarm--somewhere.
I flew out of bed, and immediately looked out of my window.
The apartment building adjacent to ours was ablaze. People were shouting and trying to awaken the families inside, banging on windows. I ran down the stairs and out the door to help if I could, but found myself just standing there helpless. Finally, the people started to wake up and realize that there was an emergency, but it seemed like eternity before they came out. One family, the ones on the second story were forced, by that time, to come out of their window--kids and all.
It was harrowing to watch it all just go up in smoke and so surreal, knowing that this was unfolding in front of my eyes, and for some reason known only to the Universe, the building we live in was spared.
I spent a few hours watching and trying to help, talking with the family whose children my children play with everyday, hugging their children, and basically wandering around in a kind of stupor.
My children were safely inside with my mother, oblivious for the moment that their best friends were enduring such tragedy. It has permanently imprinted my memory the sight of this father gathering his wife and children as they cried, turn around shoulders slumped in defeat, and walk away without looking back.
Today, I am humble... and ashamed. Such worries I thought I had yesterday. So quickly can it all vanish. I never went back to bed last night. Simply sat there and expressed my eternal thanks that I was spared the tragedy of losing my home--even worse, my family.
Today I have no right to have any worries or complaints. All is well. Amazing how fast one's perspective can shift. We have a home to retire to when the day concludes, we have one another, we have...well, everything that matters.