Thousands of residents who were forced to evacuate when a wildfire broke out in southern California last week are starting to return to their homes. However, some no longer had homes to go back to. Nevertheless, the residents are still thankful to God for the gift of life.
The Nims family, for instance, were forced to go through the rubble when they returned to their house on West Cajon Valley last Sunday. Tina, the family's matriarch, admitted that she is frustrated by the tragedy but is keeping her faith.
"I want to yell, but it's already done," Tina said, as quoted by The San Bernardino Sun. "We can't blame anyone. Thanks to God we are still alive."
Her 16-year-old son, Cody, was also calm in the face of what happened, choosing instead to cherish the memories that came with the house that the Blue Cut fire stole from his family.
"You keep memories forever. Everything else was just possessions," Cody said, as he sifted through the ash and found the remains of his treasured desktop computer.
Luckier than the Nims family is 50-year-old Roberta Clark, whose house survived the fire. Just like the Nims, her heart is also filled with gratitude for surviving the fire.
"We were driving so slowly, looking around, crying, thanking God," Clark also told The Sun, recalling the moment when they were allowed to go back home.
She nevertheless admitted that what happened to her was "heartbreaking." She recalled how she hoped that firefighters will be able to save her house from the fire, or at the very least, the medication for her diabetes.
"You try and make sure you won't forget things," Clark said, pulling plastic grocery bags of food from the back seat. "But you still do. I forgot my insulin."
"We were in the hotel, watching (the firefighters) in the fire, hoping they would get it," she added.