One of the hardest things to handle when a tragedy happens is dealing with lost memories. I wasn’t always a photographer. I was a child, who had “school class photos”, “sports photos”, and “girl scout photos”. I was a new Mom, who didn’t have time to put albums together, but took a zillion iPhone Selfies, iPhone pics (it was easy for me, and convenient). One of my best friends in this entire world collected all of my photos and created a beautiful scrapbook for me. Those things are memories and they mean more than you could ever imagine. When I heard our house was on fire, you forget those things. All you care about, all you can see or think about is family. Is everyone all right? Yes? AMAZING! What about our pets. We did lose a bunny, and to this day it haunts me. My girls LOVED Princess Buttercup. Whenever they see a bunny outside they say it may be Princess Buttercups cousin. They look up in the sky, and find the brightest star and say, “Look Mom! Princess Buttercup is up there!” It breaks your heart. It does. You don’t know how strong you are, until you need to me. Boy oh boy – the past few years I have been truly tested. I have come out strong each time, but it’s getting hard to stay strong. I need a nice cup of good luck!
One thing I felt strongly about with this fire was that I couldn’t look at what happened. It was this devastating experience that I wanted handled for me. I just couldn’t bear to do this myself. I hired a professional and his team to help us- to do what I couldn’t do. Emotionally I just couldn’t. It’s so difficult to look at what is left, and to try to make sense of it. Why us? Why did this happen right after Christmas? What did our kids do to deserve all of their Christmas toys to be taken away? I have been such a good-hearted person; this just does not make ANY sense. For my husband – it has happened as a kid. What did he do, to deserve this again? These thoughts run through our heads and its just so difficult to fathom.
We hired Thomas Lacovara & Associates to be our public adjuster. It was the BEST decision we could have EVER MADE. Tom and his team are so compassionate. They CARE. It is not everyday that you find someone who wants to help you, because you deserve it. They fight for what is right. Thanks to them, we are going to be able to rebuild our home. It’s been a long process, and it’s really only beginning; But they were there for us when we weren’t strong. We didn’t know what needed to be done, and they did it for us, and we couldn’t be more thankful to them!
One of the things that upset me the most, was our memories were gone. I kept thinking about the pictures; All of the pictures that were printed. The photos of my family before digital cameras were around, or at least before we owned one. My school photos, Girl Scout photos, sports photos… all of my iPhone photos that my best friend created the album with! Her hard work, those scrapbook pages had so many memories on them. I loved them so much and could remember how happy she was that she did this for me. How amazing the pages were put together and just how beautiful this album really was. I didn’t have time to do it, but she did, and it was my most favorite gift, ever.
John, Thomas Lacovara’s partner, found ALL of our photos in the house. He sent them away and we finally received them last week. They don’t smell. They look amazing. They were restored from a company, who I believe is called The Shoe Box. There is no email address, web address, but the presentation and care that these photos arrived in, is out of this world. The boxes are beautiful. Linen, each photo organized in packets, others wrapped in tissue paper.
This made my day, my month, and my entire year. I am so happy, so thankful, and so overcome with joy that these memories were not lost.
Here are some photos of what we received. Please excuse my iPhone-ography! What can I say, sometimes convenience rules.
Thank you for reading, and just remember, memories are so much better when preserved! There are professionals that can help you do that, even photographers need to hire the pros sometimes!