Compassion In time of Pandemic

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Avatar for ARTicLEE
2 years ago

A fly flies toward the sunset

This is my first time joining the writing prompt by @JonicaBradley. So here is my attempt at this.

August 2020.

It was a rainy night. Me and my brother were at our apartment. We just had our dinner and we were all relaxing that night. While browsing through his social media account, my brother's friend chatted him asking what color was our family house. He chatted him back. His friend then replied: "I think your house is on fire."

We didn't believe it right away. It's impossible. How can that possibly be? Me and my brother didn't take it seriously. There was an alarm but we were not concerned. Yet.

We reasoned out that maybe it was one of our neighbors and my brother's friend may have mistaken our house. The way his friend described the house on fire was far from what our house looked like.

Then a cousin chatted me whose house was next to ours. She was asking me where I was and if I was at our family house. I said no, I wasn't. Then to my horror, she sent me photos of our house on fire taken from their balcony.

A photo of our burning house taken by my cousin on their balcony

I can see my sister in our yard. I immediately called my family back home but I can't contact anybody. I kept calling until I was able to contact my sister. We were under restriction at that time and we can't go out. We are in total lockdown. Imagine my fear, anxiety, frustration and helplessness. I then called my other brother who lives in another barangay nearer to our home and informed him of the situation so he rushed to our home right away.

My worry then is my family. I was praying and hoping they were all able to get out of the house fast enough. Also our grandfather was there at that time and he has trouble walking. I'm concerned about my mom too for events as traumatic as this weakens her that she tends to collapse because of stress and too much emotion.

I was able to contact my mom and talked to her a bit but then she was taken to the ambulance to stabilize her. From the few minutes we talked, it was clear that everyone got out before the house burned down to the ground and no one was harmed.

Thank God!

Good thing the fire didn't progress any further else more houses would have perished. My aunt, the mother of my cousin who sent me the photo, has blood pressure concerns as well and she too was rushed to the hospital because of anxiety attack that night. Their house is just a few feet away from us so her worry is understandable.

Me any brother went there first thing the next morning.

The sight we saw just brings tears to one's eyes. We grew up in this house. Thirty plus years of memories were gone overnight. We can still recognize precious things amidst the charred rubbles. I can still picture every single room amidst the ruins. At the time that this whole thing was going on, I just felt helpless and frustrated for I cannot do anything.

The fire started from our neighbor and our house unfortunately caught fire as well. Our neighbor will not accept accountability. Allegedly, it started in one of the empty units. The neighbor's reasoning is that it is not their fault for there was no one in the unit at that time. There is still negligence on his part for not their is faulty wiring or whatever in that unit. There is still negligence for him not checking the unit.

Fire trucks came too late. They were watching the whole thing in facebook but according to them, no one was calling their station and they are not sure where was the fire. When they did arrive, they didn't listen to neighbors asking them to secure the neighboring houses instead for saving the burning house for it would be too late but they still tried. When they finally heeded the call to check our house, it was too late. They were even ill equipped asking around who has an ax. They needed an ax to break one of the water pipes for their truck ran out of water.

I don't want to dwell on those now for I want to move forward. What happened happened. If our neighbor doesn't want to be held accountable, then so be it. We would rather focus our energy to our family and our home.

During that time of darkness in our life, we were lost. We were hopeless. We don't know where to go and what to do. It is a traumatic experience. We were all in shock. However, I thank God for using our neighbors, relatives, friends, church members and even strangers. Some of our family were housed in our neighbors' houses until a makeshift shelter was erected for the family to move in. The first three days, there is a community service to help in clearing the debris. One after another, donations started pouring in. Some donated money, others food, clothes, household items, etc. Some even donated building materials. For the first couple of months, help just kept pouring in.

Me and my brother shoveling gravel
Pouring of concrete for the posts
Even this little one wanted to help

In the midst of it all, my brothers and sisters had to give up their jobs. We need every hand we can get to help us rebuild our home. We have to call cousins and other relatives to help us. The first few weeks they were there almost every day. For the first few weeks and months are the hard part of the job. Some days, church members will come to help as well.

One of my cousins covered in concrete and sand

We had to do everything manually so it was a slow process. There were some disagreements from time to time but things are then smoothed out later on. There is pressure from elders especially those who still practice the beliefs and traditions of old like for example waiting for our grandfather to make a decision about certain things and so on.

It's almost a year now since the incident but until now the trauma is still fresh and we are still reminded of it like it just happened yesterday. It would be easy to blame someone, to be angry at our neighbor who will not take responsibility for his carelessness but God reminded us every day that He watched over the family and that they are safe.

A wall decor done by one of my niblings that survived the fire

One such reminder is that some bibles have survived the fire without any sign that it was touched by fire. God is bigger than any fire, tragedy or calamity. We could have just given up but daily reminders are always there.

Just like this little butterfly that kept flying around the area. It will fly near from one person to the other until it decided to land on my brother's finger. It's like saying to us all not to worry for you are still blessed to be alive to tell your story.

Some afternoons when we were done with the day's job, I would sit in one spot and admire the sunset.

It's a time for reflection and thanksgiving for all the blessings that we received. Despite what happened, I am grateful for the compassion that people have towards their fellowmen. When those we know learned about the incident, many offered prayers, some sent help right away, some visited the next day to offer help. They opened their hearts right away. I will be forever grateful of their kindness and help.

Through the compassion and kindness of others, we were able to start building a new home. It is not yet finished for construction had to be halted for we have to start earning funds to be used to continue building again.

This is going to be not just a home for our family but for everyone for this is built through the help of others.

If you also want to join in the word prompt, here are the simple rules:

1. Write about compassion

2. Write 100% original content

3. Write at least 600 words

4. TagΒ @JonicaBradley

5. Reflect and enjoy the expressive power of words.

I'm really grateful for @Bloghound for introducing me to noise.cash and read.cash. This had been a great help for me to earn additional income to help rebuild our home.

Thanks so much to my supporters both in noise and here. You have been such a great help.

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2 years ago

Comments

As I was reading this, my stomach was in pain. I can feel the horro it brought you and your family. Thank God that we have big God that no one was hurt. Again I pray that this platform will help you to finish the renovation of your house.

$ 0.02
2 years ago

By God's grace, everything will be done soon. Thank you so much for your prayers. Stay safe too.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

And I am really happy that you have joined noise.cash and read.cash. 😊

So this is the reason why you are building a house. I am just glad that you and all of your family members were safe.

Pero paano nga pala yun kapag ganun na napatunayan na kasalanan nung katabi niyo and hindi nung vacant unit? Makakasuhan ba sila? Kasi sa mga news usually ang cause ng fire ay sa mga naiwan na kandila or nakasaksak na charger. Mananagot ba sila?

$ 0.01
2 years ago

Dami kasi kakilala un. Ewan ko nga e bakit valid pa rin un reason na walang tao sa unit. Ayaw nya magbayad. Dbale na. Pareho namang nawalan kami ng house kaya hayaan na lang. Focus na lang sa pagpapatayo ng kanya kanyang house. Salamat na lang talaga sa Diyos at safe kami.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Oh my sorry to hear that. Didn't know something like that happened to you. It's shocking. Good thing you weren't there but it's still a pain to have to go through that. Hope you're all doing better now.

$ 0.01
2 years ago

Thanks for the concern. Yes, we are doing better now, getting back to normal, as normal as we can be.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

You have an incredibly good heart and outlook on life. Stayed positive and not bitter despite going through a hard time. You know God is ultimately in charge. Thank God no one was hurt. That is a blessing. Can you imagine if the fire had occurred when everyone was sound asleep? I pray that God will provide so that you can finish building your new house and new home. Btw, I got goosebumps when you shared that some Bibles survived the fire. There's a message there.

$ 0.01
2 years ago

That is one thing I am most grateful for. It happened earlier than later. I can't imagine the possibility of losing someone in the fire. We hear a lot of stories about Bibles surviving fires and for us to experience it first hand has a greater impact.

$ 0.01
2 years ago

glad everyone's safe. Mahirap talaga jan pag di nila inamin negligence nila. Good thing we Filipinos also loves to help others in need. So kudos to the helping hand that help rebuild your new home now..

God Bless!

$ 0.01
2 years ago

Lagi ko nga sinasabi wag na i-bad mouth un neighbor. Kill them with kindness ba hehe. Dun na lang talaga sa mga taong magaganda ang loob magfocus.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Amen...

$ 0.00
2 years ago

I'm sorry for what happened. You are right, it is a waste of energy to blame people who did not feel accountable. What good about this is the bayanihan that is still in Filipino's blood. Like the olden days, people would not hesitate in helping those in need.

$ 0.02
2 years ago

I agree. We were like in a limbo especially the first few days for we don't know what to do and the community came together to help us.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Everyone had a hard time during the pandemic but it feels like you've had it the hardest. I do feel sorry for what had happened with you especially to your home that I know holds so many memories for you and your family. Compassion is indeed something innate to everyone especially to your friends and the people that had helped you. One step at a time, I know you can make your house again and make more memories than ever. Kaya yan, tiwala lang!

$ 0.02
2 years ago

Salamat! Those who helped made it easier for us to accept the truth. We will always be grateful.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

With God on our side everything is possible . I'm saddened for what happened to your house but I'm happy for all of you that you survived it and still standing there striving hard to built once again the place we all called "Home"..Filipino blood runs in our veins and the resiliency of Filipinos can't be burn by some fire..Bangon lang .😊

$ 0.02
2 years ago

It's already saddening seeing tragedy happen to others and for you to experience it first hand, it's traumatic but also humbling at the same time.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

It's true sometimes blessings come in the form of trials... and this was demonstrated in your story. God sent people with big hearts to help you in your time of need.

$ 0.01
2 years ago

Indeed. We were able to cope because of these God-sent angels to help us through. Now we can smile again.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

I can't even imagine that you have experienced this but you are right ,you must need to move on ,and see a brighter side of the world .. I'm so proud of you for being strong despite of what happened ..

$ 0.02
2 years ago

It is hard but we have to move on and not let this stop us making good memories.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

I remember the posts on this and was shocked , but glad nobody was hurt. Still can't believe the firemen and the axe not your neighbour and not accepting fault. It is a wonderful thing seeing all people in a community to come together, unfortunately often it takes a tragedy to motivate a community. I do hope you can continue soon and have it finished. Am also glad you joined here too kuya, you are a compassionate person, and it is great to read some words behind your awesome pictures.

$ 0.02
2 years ago

Thanks, kuya! I was touched by how the community came as one to help us during that time. It made me believe in the goodness of people even more.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Yes people can be good, just wish it happens more often

$ 0.01
2 years ago

Oh, I'm so sorry, Art. My heart broke when I read how your house was burning, and you couldn't even go there. At the same time, your story is inspiring because the community and the family came together to help you. People like the neighbor who didn't want to take responsibility abound in this world, and they don't deserve that we spend energy on them. I hope you can finish building your new house soon. I also thank @Bloghound for bringing you here. I love reading your articles. Greetings!

$ 0.04
2 years ago

Thanks so much! We would have built our house sooner if not all these delays brought about by the pandemic.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Oh my word πŸ˜” nkakalungkot nmn toh. I'm so sorry this happened at talagang during pandemic pa na parang ang hirap gumalaw at maghanap ng pera haaayy nku... Though blessings and provisions overflow pero hirap pa rin talaga mabuo originally ang nawala, still though there is always something to thank about. Sana mkabawi at matapos na soon.. All the best for you and the family. God bless and keep the faith!

$ 0.02
2 years ago

Thanks so much for the kind words! By God's grace matatapos din. Ganun talaga create new memories na. Tama ka hirap gumalaw talaga kaya natetenga din ang construction kasi walang matawag minsan na magwork dahil s restrictions.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

😭😭😭😭 This is so disheartening. Couldn't control my tears, the fire and even how people rose for help when you need it. May you not experience such again. Amen.

$ 0.02
2 years ago

I really hope not to experience it again. I can still see the blankness in the eyes of my family. It's heartbreaking. That's why I'm grateful for the people who helped for they put back the light in our lives.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

It should have been so hard for your family. I mean, it is really not easy na masunugan ng bahay. I am just glad that your family is safe and that you were abke to build your new home.

$ 0.01
2 years ago

Kaya nga e. Totoo talaga un kasabihan na mabuti nang manakawan kesa masunugan. Salamat na lang talaga at safe ang lahat.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Oo nga eh. Ang hirap masunugan :j

$ 0.00
2 years ago

"God reminded us every day that He watched over the family and that they are safe. God is bigger than any fire, tragedy or calamity."

  • true and great reminder as well sir bestie! Also He promotes people to help us. Ang galing din nun part na yun! Praising God for the safety of your fam sir!
$ 0.02
2 years ago

Dun talaga ako nabigyan ng pag-asa at naamaze nanaman sa paraan ni God. It's tragic but humbling experience.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

So i revisited this since it is in my bookmark.. might as well... I wonder if revisiting old articles. And commenting on them regenerates a chance for revisit from the bot..

Just πŸ€” ....

$ 0.00
1 year ago

Nalpas balay you en? Kararag lang wen?

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Han pay hehe. Mabayag pay ta awan pondo tas nagadu penalty iti LGU isu mapmapanan kwarta pay nga maysa. Ngem nya ngay talaga kasta hehe. Wen kararag lang nga talaga.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

inut inut, at least nakatakderen.

$ 0.01
2 years ago

Wen garud.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Aww ilokano metlang ateng?

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Wen, kabsat. Personal friend ko suna :)

$ 0.00
2 years ago

I shed a tear reading about the fire but what great blessings that many stepped forward to help your family at the time of need. May God bless you all.

$ 0.01
2 years ago

I was moved by how others are willing to help. There was the fear of the virus yet they still decided to come, to give what they have even just words of comfort.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Yeah, totally moving how everyone pulled their resources together and gave comfort to your family. Truly, we only know who our real friends are during such trying times.

$ 0.01
2 years ago