On July 30, it will be the 10 year anniversary of the beginning of the McLure Wildfire.
If you resided here at the time you’ll remember the evacuations; the fear for your loved ones, the fear for your home, and the incredible stress of not knowing if you in fact would have a home to return to. You’ll also remember how some of the people that we turned to at the time were not able to take the lead, and how others stepped forward from the background to take the reins.
However, that all happened a decade ago, and it’s obvious that today residents of the valley are noting the 10 year milestone without too much fanfare.
We agree with the popular opinion of most folks, that the summer of 2003 is now history, this is 2013, and we have moved on. You can’t change the past, but you can certainly put a lot of effort into the ‘now’ to improve the future.
However, I’d like to share a few observations from my own personal experience with the McLure Wildfire in the hopes that it might help others when faced with great adversity (my husband and I were one of the 72 who lost homes and property during the fire).
Here are a few observations that we have come to since the summer of 2003;
• One wildfire is good enough for a lifetime. It was one hell of an experience while it lasted, but we’re very glad it’s over.
• Lives are what matters – all the rest is just stuff, and stuff can be replaced.
• Loss of mementoes and family memorabilia is sad, but do we really need to see an item to remember why we kept it in the first place? Aren’t all those good memories still there at the back of our minds if we just take the time to bring them forward and enjoy them once again? Would that stuff have the same sentimental value to someone else, or maybe not?
• Picking up the pieces starts one piece at a time. Take it slow, be determined, make your goals attainable, be tenacious about getting there, and most of all don’t let your frustration or anger get the better of you.
• Share your triumphs and your failures with someone you care about, and who cares about you.
• Don’t be shy of shedding a few tears now and then, it’s all part of the healing process.
• Take some time to realize what is really important in your life – family, loved ones, friends, pets. Inanimate objects don’t count.
• Be kind, be compassionate, love fearlessly, and find that golden thread of humour when the world throws you a cow pie.
• And lastly; life is what you make of it, not what it makes of you.