On Friday (7/9), the remnants of my previous life were burned away. everything that I thought I was and everything that I had held onto my entire life is gone. Right now I think I feel kinda numb. No, I am absolutely positive that I am numb. There is a part of me that just wants to scream and cry but the larger part is keeping it under wraps. The larger part keeps saying things like “You are truly free right now.” “Every reminder of past hurt has been demolished.” This is truly a new beginning. But I guess it’s also like chemo; in order to rid yourself of the cancerous cells, some good ones must die too. My entire life I have wanted the kind of peace that can withstand any trial. I think because of that I have manifested many tragedies into it not realizing that each trial was making me stronger, giving me perspective and allowing me to build a resistance so to speak. It’s not that I don’t have my moments. This morning I woke up in a funk because of some bad dreams and then proceeded to break out into tears because I didn’t have my favorite tea kettle. but it ended as quickly as it began. Maybe that is what strength really is; when the moments of clarity out weigh the moments of produced confusion. So when I saw this building burning, unlike the first or second time, I had this constant ringing in my heart ears. It was just a peace that everything is going to be ok. That I would be cared for and loved. And I was right. Not only were the outside units of my relationship with the world kind but the middle and inner circles responded in a way that I could have never imagined. It was the neighbors that woke each other up. Each going to the others door to make sure that everyone was awake and got out safe. We all stood together on the other side of the street and watched in silence. CT Transit showed up with a bus for us to wait in while we got processed by the fire chief. The Red Cross came with water and snacks later followed by the “Canteen” that served us sandwiches and hotdogs. The mayor Pedro Segarra came, met with all the tenets and assured us that we would be taken care of. All the while each of the neighbors doing their part to help each other. News and radio crews were there. Most of which either my sister or I were quoted in. (NBC, WTIC Radio, Hartford Courant.) On top of all of the generosity that was shown by outsiders, what I continue to see astounds me. The way my fiance has responded is incredible. When they allowed 30 minutes to grab the essentials before tearing the building down, I walked into a pool of ash, insulation, walls, glass and water and stood there like a deer in headlights. I had no idea what to look for let alone grab. Dora walked in and did it all. She took the things that meant the most to me but I could not see at the time. She saw thought it all and took what she knew I would want. My cousin provided me with work clothes and jeans that will get me back up on my feet. Beyond that my circle of friends have come together and offered my sister enough to fill her new apartment plenty. I am the most blessed out of anyone I know. Living in that truth allows me so much freedom. I have to begin living out the responsiblity of that freedom. This expression of giving has compelled me to give. I am the most blessed girl I know. I have been given my new life, and I will make it count.