Helping others get back to ‘routine’

I was reminded Friday morning of how much routine governs us.

When I got up, I found the fan wasn’t working on the gas insert. The lamps wouldn’t switch on and the wireless phone was out. After checking the circuit breakers I was able to rectify the situation.

But it threw me off my routine. I read the paper in that corner of the room, answer that phone and draw warmth from that heat source.

Then I thought of Oso. I felt so petty. It was a minor inconvenience easily corrected compared to the loss of life and the lack of safeness. Their world is forever changed.

My parents lost their home 26 years ago to a fire. Fortunately they were on a trip in their motor home. I remember the call from my cousin who worked for the Monroe Fire Department. He said, “Your folks’ home burned. Everything is gone.”

Then he said, “No one told me they were out of town.” He had put on gear and went in looking for them. When he didn’t find them, he went outside and realized the motor home was gone.

My Mom’s sister and husband drove to California to get them and keep them from driving home in a panic. When they arrived home, there were three garbage bags of items.

Everything else was burned, wet or unrecognizable. The three bags became a treasure.

Mom said, “No one better tell me they were just things I lost. They were my things.”

They were able to rebuild and resume their lives. But for many years they would go to a closet looking for an item they knew they had stocked up on or for a piece of clothing. The memory of those things stayed with them.

My minor inconvenience, my parents’ losses, made me stop in my daily steps. I wish and pray for peace, compassion and understanding for those who lost loved ones; for the loss of home; for the first responders and rescuers; for the good people of Oso, Darrington and Arlington who are working to support them.

Normal is no more. Routine would be a gift. We are Snohomish County. Let’s respond to the call to help.

Roberta Jonnet

Everett

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