Thoughts on rebuilding from the Fort McMurray fires

The devastation is overwhelming as I watch the news and social media feeds regarding the fires in Northern Alberta. Eighty thousand people evacuated and displaced from their homes, forced to flee down a gridlocked highway as they dragged small children and pets out of harm’s way.

The helplessness they must have felt while trying to get to safety has been on my mind for days as I wondered how to help. I donated to the Red Cross and joined a group on facebook of AREA realtors offering up places to stay and to keep campers and even livestock.

No matter what our part in responding to a crisis, it never feels like enough and it is with a heavy heart that I continue to think about what these poor citizens will be faced with over the next few weeks.

When the Slave Lake fires ravaged that community I met with developers who were rebuilding and was encouraged by the willingness of contractors who were travelling there to help construct new residences.

I feel that the rebuilding of Fort Mac will be a much larger scale and it will be with anticipation that I look to get involved with future endeavors.

How do you rebuild after losing everything?

How does one go about replacing their carefully built home and still manage to keep spirits up in the face of such devastation?

I have helped clients devastated by flood and fire and have seen some beautiful examples of the human spirit.

In times like these we realize that family is our core and our home and that all the other things in our world is just ‘stuff’. We hug our kids tighter and learn to slow down and take inventory of what we have that truly means everything to us.

It is important to remember that houses can be rebuilt and that our worldly possessions can be re-purchased.

The loss of family heirlooms and photographs is heartbreaking but as you look at your family and (one photo I saw) your toddler happily playing in the back of the car while you wait in a four-hour line up for fuel you realize that you truly have all you need.

The thought of what was lost is temporarily faded as you look into the face of your children and give your family pet a reassuring scratch behind the ears.

Our priorities can change in an instant with the direction of the wind, causing us to flee our homes and uprooting us from our comfort.

It is in those hours that we mourn the loss of what was, become grateful for what is and look forward to what will be.

Our thoughts and prayers and support are with our fellow Albertans as they regroup and rebuild from this horrific tragedy. Look for those who are available to help and reach out to everyone you can in this devastating time.

We are a strong and resilient province and we will recover from this. God bless Alberta, my proud home for my entire life.

Kim Wyse is a local freelance designer. Find her on facebook at ‘Ask a Designer’.

Just Posted

Red Deer Lights the Night gets residents into the holiday spirit

Free winter festival is on Saturday, Nov. 17th from 4 to 7 p.m.

Rebels Forward Brandon Hagel signs deal with Chicago Blackhawks

Alexeyev, Anders make Player and Goalie of the Week in October and early November

Dean Brody heads to Red Deer with stripped down, acoustic show

Dirt Road Stories tour offers a kitchen party lodge-type experience

Jesse Todd hat trick leads Lacombe Generals over Innisfail

6-5 victory puts Lacombe in first place heading into Rosetown matchup

WATCH: Red Deerians gather for Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day 2018 marks the 100th year anniversary of the end of World War I.

WATCH: Remembrance Day in Lacombe fills LMC

2018 marked 100 years since the end of First World War

Fear of constitutional crisis escalates in U.S.; Canadians can relate

Some say President Donald Trump is leading the U.S. towards a crisis

Canada stands pat on Saudi arms sales, even after hearing Khashoggi tape

Khashoggi’s death at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul further strained Riyadh’s already difficult relationship with Ottawa

Feds pledge money for young scientists, but funding for in-house research slips

Canada’s spending on science is up almost 10 per cent since the Liberals took office, but spending on in-house research is actually down

Carjacking sees 76 year old woman’s vehicle stolen

Wetaskiwin RCMP with Crime Reduction Unit charge robbery suspects

Disabled boy has ‘forgiven’ bullies who walked on him in stream, mom says

A Cape Breton teen who has cerebral palsy was told to lie in a stream as other kids walked over him

Canada Post no longer guarantees delivery times amid more rotating strikes

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers closed two major processing centres in Ontario and B.C.

McGill students vote overwhelmingly to change Redmen team nickname

Student union held a referendum after a campaign by Indigenous students

Calgarians head to the polls to declare ‘yea’ or ‘nay’ on Winter Games

The question “are you for or are you against hosting the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games?” was to be posed to them Tuesday in a plebiscite to help determine whether the city should move ahead with a bid.

Most Read