Sunday, May 13, 2012
Where to from here?
You don't realise just how much you've lost until the next day. Waking up and having nothing. From here is where my story gets amazing. The communities generosity has been overwhelming.
So I'm going to tell the rest by mentioning the people who have held me together and been supportive in so many ways.
My real estate agent Maureen. Not only had she organised a home for us to stay in before I'd even had to worry about it, she also went and bought us groceries for the next 2 days, got some of her sons toys for my boys, and some clothes for my littlest boy. Since then she's called to see how I am, organised us to stay here for 6 weeks, dropped off a pram for my little one. Harcourts have to be the best real estate. The support I've gotten from them has been amazing, but Maureen in particular has been amazing.
My dear friend Trudi. Even in pain after her operation, hobbling around, she's helped with clothes, toys, meetings, the school, passing on well wishes, seeing how we are, bringing around a blow up bed so we weren't all crammed into a double and single bed and collecting things that people have donated to the boys and myself. Having a dozen less things to worry about has been amazing. Even just having someone to talk to. It's all so overwhelming and exhausting. By lunch time I am mentally exhausted, so having that support has helped me get through each day.
My dear friend Lauretta. She popped in last night with a laundry basket full of food. One thing you don't realise is that when you have staples in the cupboards, making breakfast, lunch and dinner is slighly less expensive. Having nothing, I've spent a lot of the little money I had left on food. She's also took the boys that night. Took them to her home, and when I collected them they had been fed, bathed and were in PJ's. It's the small things, like how they were ready for bed, that make the difference.
Trish, the owner of the house. She let us move in, and has allowed us to rent it for 6 weeks at a very reduced rate. Having somewhere to come to at the end of the day, that is 'ours', where the kids can run around and laugh and be kids, somewhere we can curl up on the couch and talk, and somewhere sleep, has been a relief. She also dropped around some food that night and came to say hi. She is the principle of the local private school, where the boys went for a while, so we knew her but she didn't know it was us until she came around.
Shell servo... the next day I had so much to do, running around to ring people and see people, and I had no petrol. So I went in and asked if I could put $20 in and pay next week and they filled up my tank and said it was on them. Again, one less thing to worry about, and I didn't have to drive around worrying about how much petrol I was using. I could have walked, but when you have so much going on you don't want to be out in the public. So for this I am forever grateful. I always joke about being their best customer though because I never buy petrol anywhere else.
The Neighbourhood House staff. By the next day they'd put out tins at a few places getting donations. Simone and Kristy have been amazing in their support. Directing me to the right places for help, as well as doing all they can themselves.
The School Shop, who supplied us with dinner last night (and since I drafted this, the next night). The kids were very excited to have fish and chips, and even more when they saw the fizzy drink and the bags of lollies that they'd popped in for them. Not having to worry about dinner is a relief when you're completely drained and just want to curl up in a ball. They also have a collection going for us which is amazing.
Pecky Chicken, who are doing something amazing for me tomorrow. They are cooking us a roast dinner for Mother's Day and I just have to go in and pick it up tomorrow night. They also offered something so incredibly generous last night. That until I'm on my feet, I am welcome to go in and get dinner to feed us every night of the week if we need. How amazing is that?! I cried a lot when I got home last night at the generosity of people.
Kayleen from the chemist who showed up last night with panadol for all the boys in case I needed it, and she also paid for my account there. When I realised I had no cream, no puffers, nothing, I went in and put all the boys medications on tab and she paid for it.
South George Town Primary school, and the SGT school association. They have organised some amazing fundraising ideas to help cover the cost of the excess! How awesome is that. They also supplied the boys with new uniforms, and have been so gentle with them through this tough and traumatic time.
Carl and the forum members of Fishtas.com who have been collecting donations and also are selling a couple of trailors of wood and donating the profit. Wow.
Eyelines, who gave me Jaidan's new glasses without having to pay the rest of the money I owed, which was about $50. I'd gone in yesterday to pick them up and they wouldn't take my money. Jaidan hasn't been able to see since the fire because his glasses were in the house. He loves his new glasses and looks great in them.
Then there is all the hundreds of people who have brought garbage bags of clothes and toys, offered support financially, emotionally and just sent us prayers and thoughts and well wishes. Not just locally either, there have been people in other states who have heard what's happened and offered book drives, money, to post over clothes and books and presents for the boys. It has honestly been completely overwhelming. The local community has been amazing in their support, and it's made me so glad to live in a place like George Town. Small towns have their downsides, but it's not until something tragic happens that you see just how much they pull together to help. And for that, I am forever grateful. It's the little things that have helped me get through each hour of each day. When I'm feeling at my lowest, it's been things that the locals have done that's made me realise it's not the end of the world.
Today my boys are excited. I went into centrelink yesterday and got a crisis payment and got myself some clothes and underwear. I still have money left and I've told them we are going to the toy shop and they can pick any toy. This is possible in part by the amazing support of people who don't live close and still wanted to help so have made a donation, small and big, and now I have enough money for the weekend. AAMI processed an emergency relief payment so it should be in my bank by Monday or Tuesday which will help immensly. They have also been great. I'm very glad that I have insurance through them. They've been kind, and gentle when I needed it the most.
A big thank you to every single person who has helped, prayed, send text messages, facebook messages, called me... I might not have answered you all but to have the support of so many people has helped me make it through each day. I woke up this morning and I didn't cry. I'm holding it together better now. Yes we lost everything, but we're all safe, and we will be okay.
I'm sure I've forgotten people. It's been a blur the last couple of days. Today is Mother's Day. I wrote most of this blog yesterday at 4am, and I'm finishing it now at almost 1.30pm today. I woke up to the most amazing gifts from the boys, all made me bawl my eyes out like a little baby. When you've lost all those special things from previous years, it's nice to start again.
For now, I'm going to enjoy the small things. Like going for a walk on the beach... which is where I'm headed right now. Happy Mother's Day to all my friends, near and far.