In late September 1970 I survived a house fire. It was before my eighth birthday. Initially, my brother who was age nine, my father and my mother had forgotten about me. I had been in a deep sleep from two injuries and an allergic reaction I'd had from a medicine for one of the injuries. I was dead to the world for four hours. I woke up stairs to smoked filled rooms I was groggy from a drug I was given after school
As I got to the top of the thirteen stairs that lead to our kitchen that was on fire, I heard a commotion. Standing at the top of the staircase I realized having trouble breathing that I couldn't see a thing. It was what seemed a thick white smokey film. I yelled at the top of my lungs, "Mom!!!!" I took three steps down unable to see, then my my right arm was grabbed. I saw nothing, yet felt the pull. As I was on my butt, the grab dragged me down to the bottom of the stairs. I knew to stay on the ground. It was Mom, I could not see her clearly. Yet as I crawled, I heard her tell me orders of what to do. And where to go with my brother.
My brother was losing it. As the two of us got out of our home, our parents remained in the kitchen fighting the fire in our rented barn home. I knew then to pray, yet I also knew death could ensue. My mom always told us to take care of one another and that my brother carried the name . So, I knew to be true to our mother's orders, I pulled at my crying self-centered, older brother, and reminded him that our mother knew what she was doing. He followed my demand. In the end our parents saved our home, we lost our cabinets, our fridge, and most of our food.
The next morning my brother and I were on time for school although with barely any sleep. My voice and throat felt scorched for a few days , yet we were all alive still and still had a roof over our heads. Ironically, the thing I remember probably the most was, as the firefighters allowed us to go back into our home at about midnight, with fans blasting upstairs just outside the bedroom my brother and I shared. You could hear music on our record player. As I walked up the thirteen steps, the song playing was "Puff the Magic Dragon", by Peter, Paul and Mary.---Jody-Lynn Reicher