Updated: Sep 26, 2020
On the morning of the September 8th, I had just finished a work call when I heard the fire engines go out. It felt like my spirit froze to the core when I saw the truck drive by. My older sons had just left the house for a dental appointment across town. I began receiving Nixle alerts on my phone about the grass fire. Communication was difficult because my phone began to have trouble dialing and making connections for calls. Then, I started to see traffic back-up out on Siskiyou Blvd and knew the traffic was starting to be bad, and my concern heightened for the community evacuation needs especially with the wind direction towards Talent and Phoenix and roadway congestion.
It’s hard to put in words the pain you have seeing the smoke roll up the valley and knowing in front of it are families in danger. One way I’ve dealt with the sleepless nights, the sadness and emotions is with music. I made a playlist for the Almeda Fire. The music says something for me that words cannot express. We will Rise Up unafraid and do it a thousand times again.
Another way I've managed my sadness is with connecting to others in the community. I think we all have moments in life where we self-criticize, where second guess our decisions and I had those moments on September 8th but, they will not keep me from rising up, from connecting with others and from processing my grief - the Almeda Fire and fires across Oregon can bring us closer as a community.