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Friday, 20 January 2017

Christmas Blaze

“, Tell me how did it start, asked the detective.”

“, I told you I don't know how it started I wasn't home, I replied.”

“, I find it funny that your house burns to the ground and yet you don't have a clue has

to how it might have started.”

“, Like I said already I went out around 7, to go pick up a few last minute gifts, I came

home to find my house in engulfed in flames.”

“, So explain this to me again, you claim that you left your house at 7 to head to get

some last minute gifts, yet we have other witness saying they saw your car parked in

your drive when your house caught fire, explain that to me, Detective said again.”

“, I told you I left my house at 7 to go shopping there is nothing to explain here, what

ever car was parked in my driveway was not mine, I said in anger.”

Here I was sitting in the interview room being held for questioning about a fire I

never started. My family and I where now homeless and our Christmas had been

destroyed by the fire. Everything we owned was inside that house. The only thing my

family had left was the clothing on our back's. All I could think about was our young

kids who had just lost their dog Buddy earlier tonight, Buddy had been with us for 3

years he had brought joy and happiness in to our lives.

I sat there at the table with my head down as tears poured down the sides of my

cheeks I was in shock and could barely believe that my house was gone. The police

where all over me and I could here my wife of nearly 5 years saying to the other

detectives why are you holding my husband, let him go.

“, Mam, we are doing everything we can right now to get you and your husband out of here. But right now we need to find out how this fire started, and what caused it.”

“, we told you everything we don't know how the fire started why are you keeping us

here, asked my wife.”

“, Like I said we are looking in to the cause of the fire, replied the Detective Moor.”

“, I told you my husband went out shopping for some last minute Christmas gifts, we

are telling you the truth, my wife said.”

My wife and I were finally let go from the police station around 2:30 in the

morning. We headed to the nearest hotel and checked in for a month until we could

figure out what are next move was going to be. My wife called her parents and let

them know where we were staying and how they could get a hold of us if they needed

anything.

“, honey are you going to call your parents and tell them where we are in case they

need to get a hold of you, my wife asked.”

“, I'll do that first thing in the morning when I get up.”

I sat on the end of the bed watching my kids sleep. I don't know how they could

sleep at a time like this, but they where laying ever so still and I found some comfort in

that. My wife always tell me that our kids are brave and some of the strongest kids

there is. I have to agree with my wife on that because when my dad died my sons told

me everything will be alright and time would heal all wounds.

“, honey you coming to bed.”

“, yea I'll be right there in a second, I just want to write a few thoughts down.”

“, well don't stay up to late honey, we have a lot of things to do in the morning.”

“, I won't be long sweet heart, I promise.”

I finished writing a few thoughts on a pad of paper that was sitting on the desk in

our hotel room. I laid down beside my wife and kissed her gently on the cheek, then

turned over and faced my kids bed. I could here my youngest son talking in his sleep,

but could barely make out what he was saying. At one point I thought he was saying

dad help our room is on fire. I wasn't sure if he was having a dream or if he was having

a flash back of the house fire.

I tossed and turned several time's. I couldn't get my mind to turn off, I was

worried about having to deal with our insurance company later that morning. I sat up in

bed trying to to disturb my wife and kids. I heard my oldest son Mike wake up, he laid

there for a second and rubbed his eyes and looked at his watch, before he turned and

looked at me.

“, dad are you okay, he asked.”

“, I'm fine buddy, go back to sleep.”

“, I can't sleep, all I see when I close my eyes is Buddy laying in the hall way, Mike

said.”

“, What is buddy doing son, I asked.”

For the first time I could see my son Mike having trouble trying to understand

what he saw in that moment. He looked at the floor and then at the wall. He could

barely speak more then a few words before his voice cracked as if he was about to

cry.

“, Mike, I said.”

“, Yea dad.”

“, what was Buddy doing, when you last saw him.”

“, Buddy was laying in his bed, he wasn't moving dad. I think he was dead.”

“, how does that make you feel son, I asked.”

“, hurt, sad, and royally pissed off, Mike replied.”

For the first time in a long time, I watch my son Mike break down in to tears over

our family dog buddy's passing it hit Mike really hard. Buddy was Mike's best friend

since he was 12. The bound between them was something out of a fairy tail. I got up

and walked over to Mike's side of the bed. I sat down and warped my arms around

him as sat there crying in to my chest, his heart had been broken.

“, What time is it, my wife asked in a wispy voice.”

“, It's almost 5,honey go back to sleep.”

“, is everything okay, she asked.”

“, everything's fine Mike just had a bad dream that's all.”

I headed back to bed, my wife rolled over and wrapped her arms around me,

holding me close to her warm body. Admittedly I found myself thinking about our

beloved dog Buddy as I laid there quietly with the blankets pulled over us. I laid with

tears pouring down the sides of my face. This day was not going to be easy on any of

us. Including our eldest son Mike who became attach to Buddy in ways my wife and I

couldn't explain if we had tried too.

At some point I drifted off to sleep. My wife Nancy took our boys out for

breakfast and left me at the hotel to get a couple more hours of sleep. I woke up

around 1pm that afternoon. I headed down to the lobby to see if there was any

messages for me. The desk agent told me that someone had called looking for me and

wanted me to call them back as soon I got the message.

“, Sir is everything alright, asked the desk clerk.”

“, Everything is fine, can you please send a western and coffee to room 414 please.”

“, yes sir right away. Is that being charge to the room.”

“, please just charge it to the room, I replied.”

I headed back to my room, and sat on the edge of the bed and cried as I looked

at my wallet with the picture of our late dog Buddy and my son Mike. Something had

come over me, something I couldn't explain. For the first time I now realize just how

much Buddy met to me, god I miss him so much.

*

I had just finished my Western when my wife and kids walked in to the room. I

was slowly drinking my coffee and staring blankly out the window that over looked the

hotel parking lot. Just block and half away from our hotel window was a dog park. I

never told Mike about it because I did not want to trigger any memories of our late dog

Buddy. No matter what dog would by our hotel window or the breed of dog, everyone

remained me of Buddy big or small they all looked like our dog.

“, honey what are you looking at, my wife asked.”

“, nothing, I replied.”

“, Ron honey are you okay sweetie.”

“, sorry what were you saying honey, I blankly replied.”

“, forget it honey I answered my own question.”

My head was spinning with all kinds of different thoughts and questions of what

if we had done something different our dog Buddy would still be with us at this moment

right now. For what ever reason I just stood at the window looking at the dog park

across the street and scores of people having fun playing fetch with there dogs. It

brought a tear to my eye as I watched a number of dogs chase after one another and

then go after the dog that got the ball. God I miss Buddy so much I said to myself.

“, Did you say something dad, asked Mike.”

“. sorry son, what was that you said.”

“, What did you just say a few seconds ago.”

“, I don't know about you guys but I really miss Buddy right now.”

I took comfort in the fact that my kids where some of the strongest kids I ever

had the honor of raising. It made proud to call myself their dad. I don't know what I

would have done if my boys didn't make it out of the house that night I would have

died a thousands times over. My wife was the rock in our little family, she held

everything together and honestly I could never do the thing's my wife does on a daily

basis.

It was at the moment that a flood of tears came pouring down and there was

little I could do to hold them back. My wife wrapped her arms around me and kissed

my shoulder, as if to say everything is going to be alright.

“, Sweetheart why don't you take the boys down to the pool for a little bit, so I can talk

with your father okay.”

“, sure mom, is dad okay, our youngest asked.”

“, dad is going to be alright Pete, don't you worry.”

“, hey guys don't forget your towels, and your sandals you need something on your feet. I don't want you walking the halls bare foot, My wife said.”

Regardless my kids took off out the door and down the hall before they even

had their sandals on their feet. If there was one thing that could keep my kids

distracted from everything that was going on, it would be a swimming pool. Yes my

wife and I raised four human fish's. Once our boys were in the water forget trying to

get them out.

I sat down on the edge of the bed while my wife was in the washroom fixing her

hair. I mean my wife looks good all the time. My wife came out of the washroom and

sat next to me. She did not say a word but her body language said everything I

needed to know. My wife looked at me,

“, Ron I know your mourning Buddy.”

“, honey I'm doing alright, yes I miss our dog but who in this family doesn't.”

“, All I want you to know is your family is here for you and we love you vary much.”

“, I know you and the boys do honey, thanks I needed to here that.”

*

My wife and I head over to our house to check out the damage for our self's.

When pulled up to our street, my wife stopped the car and looked at me. I could barely

bring myself to look at her, I was in disbelieve that this could happen at a time like this.

“, honey look at me for a second, my wife said.”

I turned to look at my wife, she was there stroking the back of my neck, as tears

were running down the sides of my checks. I turned to my wife, she smiled.

“, Honey are you sure want to do this, I mean we can always just head right to the

bank in stead.”
I did not utter one word for a second or too, I just sat there in the front seat next

to my wife as she continued to rub the back of my head. I rubbed the tears from my

eyes before giving her my answer. I knew we had to do this not just for our self's but

for our kids who where back at the hotel. I shook my head then turned to my wife and

looked her dead in the eyes.

“, No let's do this and get it over with, I replied.”

“, okay honey, are you sure you want to do this right now, my asked again.”

“, yes honey, I'm sure.”

“, okay, my wife replied.”

I hugged my wife just to hold her in my arms before we headed down our street

to where our house once stood. I was not looking forward this moment, but I know I

had to do it for our kids. My wife then turned down our street all I could see was a

empty lot with yellow tape around it and a fire truck in the drive away, along with the

fire marshal car parked in front of our burnt down house. My wife parked the car in

front of the Parker's house, as we were getting out Mrs. Parker told my wife that she

was welcome to park in her driveway if she wanted to.

“, That's vary kind of you Mrs. Parker, but my husband and I won't be too long, but

thanks for the offer, my wife replied.”

“, Ron come here and give me a hug, you look like you could use one right now, Mrs

Parks said.”

I have admit I was not much of a huger, but these past few days and human

contact I could get I took with out much fuss.

“, I'm sorry to hear about your beloved pet dog, Mrs. Parks said.”
“, thank you that means a lot to us, I replied.”

“, If you need anything you just come and ask me, replied Mrs. Parker.”
*
I walked a few steps behind my wife Brooke, as we got closer to where our

house once stood. Brooke stopped and turned and looked at me. I kept my head down

as not to show that I was crying. My wife warped her arms around me tightly and we

hugged for another minute or two.

“, Awe honey it's okay, everything is going to be alright, my wife said.”

“, I can't do this honey, I don't want to see Buddy's burnt body,”

“, wait here, I'll go ask where our dog is, April replied.”

I stood watching as April was talking to a couple of the firefighter's who handed

her a small cardboard box that held Buddy's remains. I dropped down to one knee as

April came walking down the street with the box. I could barely hold my emotions

back as my wife April walked down our street with our dog Buddy's remains. April

placed the box in the middle of us, and we both knelled and cried for several minutes.

We got got back up and headed for our car. I carried Buddy the last 2 blocks and

placed him in the back seat.

A short time later we arrived back at our hotel room with Buddy. My asked our

boys if they would go in to the other bedroom and wait while I brought Buddy's

remains in to the room. Our sons came in one at time to pay the final respects to their

dear friend. Finally our oldest son came in to the room and stopped a few feet from our

bed where I had placed Buddy's box.

“, Mom, dad, can I have some time a lone with Buddy, he asked.”

“, sure honey, we will be out in the hall, April said.”

As we walked out in to the hallway, I turned back to see our son kneel down on

one knee with his head down. It was at that point I watched him place one hand on top

of the box, not a single word was said. Then I closed the door behind me, and left our

eldest son in the room by him self.

“, I'm so sorry Buddy, I'm so sorry my son cried out.”

“, god please just give me Buddy back please.”

*
The next afternoon our local church held a small funeral for Buddy, with our

son's each carrying Buddy down the aisle to the alter. There was not a dry eye in the

church that afternoon.

Buddy was later laid to rest at our town's pet cemetery, where our son visits

every weekend. The investigation found that the fire had started in the basement of

our home. The cause of the fire is still unknown to this day.