The fire marshall knocked on Caryn’s front door. When she opened it, he handed her a small cardboard box. “I’m sorry for you loss, Miss Kavanaugh,” he said. “I know it’s not much, but this is all we could salvage from your parents’ home.
Indeed, it definitely wasn’t much. There was her father’s old 35 mm camera, a tiny toy globe he kept on his desk, a blank tape from his portable dictating recorder, and a Matchbook model of an old VW bus that he told her was just like the one he had when he was in college. Strangely, there were three watercolor paintings by her mother that her father must have kept in his desk.
Caryn took each of the salvaged items out of the box and laid them out on the marble floor of the foyer in her house. She looked down at the strange assortment at her feet. She couldn’t wrap her head around how this small collection of random items was all that remained of her parents’ lives. Sure, she had her memories, but their lives, their home, and all of their other possessions were gone.
Her eyes welled up and guilt overwhelmed her. She had planned to have their 120 year old house updated with new wiring and plumbing last year, but her parents, who were in their seventies, resisted. They didn’t want to have strangers working inside their home during the pandemic. But now that they had both received their second vaccination last week, they finally agreed to let her bring in an electrician and a plumber.
Caryn meant to make arrangements last week, but she just didn’t get around to it. She’d waited this long, what would another week or two matter? Now, after everything was destroyed by the fire caused by an electrical short, it was too late, and all that remained were those seven random items spread out at her feet.
Written for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge. Photo credit: fotografierende on Pexels.com.