It's amazing how one's perspective changes.
A week ago on Friday, Alan went to the house and started sifting through the ashes. He called to say he'd found his class ring intact and his wedding ring, very damaged, but with enough left for someone to replicate the design. He hadn't told me that he wasn't wearing his ring when we evacuated, and I hadn't noticed. He told Erin, "Your mother doesn't need to know this right now." So true. Had I heard this in the first days after the fire, I'd have been a basket case. But 11 days later, I took the news somewhat in stride.
Since then, we've done a lot more sifting, but have found very little. A few remnants of dishes and pottery. Some coins. Some costume jewelry. We spent hours sifting near where Alan found his ring, looking for the remains of the gold and diamond necklace he gave me on my 40th birthday. No luck.
Today the debris removal will start. In a few days all that will be left is a few foundation walls. We'll leave those until we start the new foundation, so that the soil doesn't cave in. I find it hard to give the go ahead for the debris removal. It's like saying goodbye again and finally to what was.
Perhaps by next week my perspective will have changed to looking forward to what will be.