Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, is going up in flames, the entire city. A forest fire got away and doubled in size and the whole town is fleeing. One road in and out of the remote oil sands town. They evacuated the entire town. The problem is it is so remote that people are stranded on the roads running out of gas and water. This is a post from one of my sons friends that brings the reality of the situation home.
Joel Hughson shared John Craig MacIsaac's post.
2 hrs ·
John Craig MacIsaac
13 hrs · Fort MacKay, AB, Canada ·
I am laying here in the dark on the floor of a camp room. My family was fortunate enough to get a room but I know not everyone was as lucky. Right now I am so jealous of my children because they have no fears, no sense of loss about everything. It'd actually calming for me to reassure my daughter that her toys don't matter, and that the few personal items we got out are more than we need.
It's funny because as I stare in the dark I keep telling myself that the words running through my head aren't true. The words "it's all gone" won't pass. But I keep reminding myself of what I know to be true more than ever. I have everything in this room with me. When I was leaving our home I looked all around and tried to decide what was important enough to take and the answer was nothing. Nothing mattered except my family. It still doesn't. And I feel so grateful because when I tried to leave town south bound I was delegates from my wife and my daughter Olivia, and I had my daughter Emma with me. I got to a pint where I couldn't go further and the highway was covered in flames and I didn't think we would make it out. I looked at my angel and I have never felt such a fear. Such dread thinking I wouldn't be able to save what I hold dear. That's what I can't shake. What I can't let go. And while I trembled and shook; my little girl in all her innocence smiled at me and was laughing and wanted to play.
I'm not writing this for help or for sympathy. I have what I need and we will be just fine. I'm writing this for two reasons. One because I need to let some of this out of my head, and two because I hope it will make everyone squeeze your kids a little tighter this week. Read them and extra bed time story. Give them and ice cream and watch them smile. Call your sister you are angry at and make up, or your brother you haven't had time to chat with in a while and say hi. Tell your loved ones they are loved and make time for a family dinner. Everything else is bullshit. It does not matter.
I came to Fort McMurray in 2008. I already knew wen I got here I didn't like it and I was just gonna make a few dollars and leave. This place has became my home because I found out everything I heard about the town was wrong. It is friendly, happy, and a great sense of community. And it has given me everything. My wife. My children. My career. My friends. My greatest memories and milestones. And tonight as I write I still have all those things.
As I left town tonight I saw emergency workers still working. Risking their lives to get us all out. Police. Paramedics. Firefighters. And from what I have heard so far we all got out. And I have even heard we have a few new members to help rebuild our community, as some children have been born in the midst of chaos and are safe and sound in one of the work camps north of town. I saw camp workers going up to the desk of their camp trying to hand in their keys so families could have a place to stay. People smiling and people in tears, and children running and laughing. It gives me hope that people are better than we think. More caring and selfless. Kind and compassionate.
And McMurray, I don't know what's left of it really. But I know it will stand again. It will be rebuilt. Because my story of McMurray is all too common. We are young and love our home. We have built it together as it has built us and our families. And the sense of community I what I have always known from growing up in small towns like most of the people here.
I don't really know if anything here made sense, nor do I care. I do know it has helped me tremendously to put it in words, and if you have read this far thanks for your time and good night.
- Self EmployedSometimes Batman sometimes Janitorial Staff, present
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Things I like to do: I like to set up roadblocks at the end of my street and make the neighbours wait until I finish the body searches and then wave them through. I like it because I look really good in a fluoro vest.
I like to make up my own questions and answer them. Don't prompt me with what to tell you ... Do I look like I need prompting? I don't wanna be like everyone else. I wanna be Me! STOP "baaaing" at me - you look ridiculous in wool in this heat ...
OK so about me: I am a spayed female (just so you know how responsible I am) who took my kindergarten teacher's promptings to heart when she said I was very bossy. My career path was chosen. I tell everyone what to do, how to do it, and when to do it. I tell complete strangers. I do drive-by tellings. I NEVER discriminate or withhold my telling from those that need it - even if they don't know how badly they need it. I tell them. I have taken to drinking when I tell, so now the telling is both entertaining AND annoying. You can't beat that.
I am also the kid that was always waving their hand in the air with a million questions, even after the bell rang and everyone else wanted to go home. I wanted to know WHY we had to stop convincing the Grade 2's that they should swim across the slough at recess to try and escape. I wanted to know WHY we had to put our name in the right hand corner and not the left. I wanted to know what was wrong with me using the principals desk to glue on my sparkles to my Christmas card, when my desk was much too small.
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- I've been kicked out of them all