The lightning struck their kitchen. The refrigerator exploded. The faucets and lightbulbs melted. The food, scattered papers, and personal belongings were petrified.
Then the fire began — it spread via the ceiling and attic, pushing flames and smoke through the entire house. And just like that my brother and his family lost everything.
But the worst part is my mom watched it all.
She saw my dad run up to the front door and test the doorknob. When it was too hot to touch he began banging on the door and yelling my brother’s name. My mom stood there imagining her son, her youngest, inside suffocated by smoke. Burning to death.
She became completely hysterical.
And that’s when she called me. I heard her animal-like scream on the phone. I couldn’t understand her words. But I knew something, something horrible was happening.
I left my family in the blink of an eye and drove to my brother’s house in a flash. On the way I got a hold of my brother on the phone and realized he was safe. He and his wife had left the house a mere 40 minutes before the lightning struck.
Their street was blocked with firetrucks, but as I ran towards their house my mom saw me coming and ran to me. She and I were both crying. Crying for the loss that had taken place and the loss that almost altered our life.
Once my brother and his wife arrived my mom was finally at rest. But that night we all had nightmares. Hers about the fire, her son, and his life. Me? About my mom’s voice.
As a mother, your worst nightmare is to have your kids leave this world before you. To watch it happen (or think you’re watching it happen) is even worse.
When my mom was watching all this she said she needed someone to understand the severity of it — that her son was dying! She needed someone to break the door down or bring in a helicopter or something! She felt the police and other neighbors who were there couldn’t understand.
She said she called me because she knew I would understand.
Once we were all back together staring at the ruins of my brother’s house I decided I would be my brother’s gatekeeper. No one would donate, call or help my brother without going through me first. I didn’t want them dealing with bags of donated clothes when they needed to break the news to their daughter that she lost her home.
Soon my brother, sister-in-law and niece moved in with me and my family. I watched my niece during the day and cooked dinner for all of us at night.
And that’s when I realized…
Being a mother also means being a daughter and a sister.
My children need to see me rushing out the door at a moment’s notice to comfort my own mother. They need to see me open our house and make it home for my brother. My children need to understand that my job isn’t just to take care of them and be the fairy-godmother of their little world.
Motherhood is not my only role.
It becomes the most overwhelming, the most urgent and will ultimately be my most long-reaching role. But it’s not my only one. I want my children to see me as a full woman. Loving, encouraging, and honoring my immediate family so they will know how to do the same for theirs.
“A friend loves at all times. A brother [sister, daughter] is born for adversity.” Proverbs 17:17
Do your children see you as a daughter? Sister? Friend? Neighbor?
|Amanda is a stay-at-home mom of two who blogs at OhAmanda.com and Impress Your Kids. In her former life, Amanda was a Children’s Pastor — overseeing, organizing and developing ministry for kids in nursery through middle school, but now that she is a mom, her “skills” are used up on her kids!|