Early yesterday morning, my early morning routine was disrupted by the ring of our telephone. Wondering who it might be, and answering in a quiet voice to not awaken the still sleeping family, I was surprised to hear my sisters voice. We often talk in the early evening, so this early morning phone call from her took me off guard, and had my mind grappling what was she about to tell me.
After a minute of casual conversation, she broke the news to me. The house that I moved to with my mom after dad died, when I was 15 was destroyed by fire. The news story with a video can be found here. It has been decades since I have lived at this house myself, but with mom having lived there for 35+ years as a single widow, there are a lot of memories within those walls.
The home had been a hangout for many of my friends. After dad died, we would play pool for hours in the basement, with my quadraphonic 8 track stereo blasting out tunes in the background. A few years later, it was the home where I introduced my girlfriend from New Zealand to my mom. This same girl, a few months later left with me to go for a walk out of this house. Just a half a kilometer away, she proposed to me, and asked me to marry her (yeah I was dragging my feet). I am glad she did, she has been “Mrs. Wright” for 26 years now! 🙂
As the years went on, there was the laughter of our children filling this home, during many, many home cooked meals and wonderful visits with mom. It took a run, to help me clear my head of this tragic news. Yes tragic, but I do have these wonderful memories. Fortunately no one was seriously injured in the fire. The owners have insurance, and they will rebuild. The other fortunate thing, is that my mom having passed away 3 years ago, this is not something she will not have to deal with.
This tragedy has reminded me how fortunate I am. I have been very blessed with the homes I have lived in. I am a very wealthy person in these memories. Sadly there are people in the world who have never experienced what it is to have a “happy home”. And in some cases, there are people due to circumstances beyond their control, who have never had that experience of living in a home.
With the cost of housing skyrocketing in most Western countries, and with a alarmingly growing disparity between the rich and poor, more and more people are having to take to the streets to live. One of the most inhumane things I have come across of how human beings treat those less fortunate is the use of anti homeless spikes. They had arrived in Canada in front of a business in the city of Montreal, and are being introduced in many countries in the Western world to combat homelessness. In no other way to put it, they are “burning down the houses” of those living on the street. With their house destroyed, where can they now go?
Statistics on homelessness in Canada can be found here.
Spikes are not the only anti-homeless measure used. This article here, the “Top 10 Anti-Homeless Measures Used in the United States.”
Thank you for taking the time to read!