My friend Web’s house burned New Year’s Day. Web bought this house to be near to his mother who lived one street over. A devoted son, he checked in on her daily, helped her with projects and loved her dearly. She passed away this past October.
Web called me last night to tell me the news. Everything was lost except a few guitars he managed to salvage from his studio, which survived the fire but is unlivable due to the toxic leftovers of the fire. A few weeks ago he was awakened by his roommate who felt he “…had to come home..” and they managed to save the home that night. There was an electrical fire behind the wall in his studio. Last time I talked to him about this fire he said the repairs were almost complete and the electrical issues had been addressed and he felt the house was safe. He was thankful for the warning.
His voice sounded strong last night; knowing his past I am so glad that he has come so far in his personal healing to not allow this to throw him into mental instability. Even in the face of this awful blow, the loss of all he owned, his faith is strong and he is still in love with life.
Web is one of the three bachelors in my series “Three Bachelors or Men with Beards”, and all the photos over the years feature many views of this house he loved. He asked me last night if I could send a few to document the condition before the fire–the insurance company needed them to compare before and after views.
Today he said, “I don’t know where I’m going yet, it’s the great mystery. It gets easier every day.”
Each and every one of us have had moments that equal to the loss of everything in a fire. The death of a loved one, divorce, a child that has defied all your efforts and chosen a life that is destructive, an illness that is debilitating–moments that define or defeat you.
I heard this again the other day: It isn’t what you go through that defines you but how you go through it. I believe this even more since speaking to my friend last night. When proof positive keeps showing itself to me about this adage, how can I doubt it?