Friday, May 18, 2018

My Tragedies

I'm writing on my iPad, the only computer I have left. Last Wednesday, my house burned "down." Charlie and I were not there, thank God. I've had a very bad few months, as Alexander would put it (remember the children's book?).

I had Legionnaires pneumonia and was hospitalized for eight days. If a friend hadn't insisted on a wellness check by the police, I would have died. They found me unconscious on the floor. I have no memory of that or how long I had been passed out. I'm told I had sepsis and kidney failure in addition to the pneumonia.

After the hospital, Charlie and I moved to a rehab center in an assisted living facility close to my house. I needed to get stronger, and I did. I thought that was the worst of it. Then, my sister, who was helping renovate my house, hired a company named Pest Now to eradicate the termites they found in my attic. A few hours after they left, my entire attic was in flames. Long story short, my house was destroyed. It will take at least eight months to rebuild it.

I lost much of my makeup museum, almost all my clothes, and I don't even know what else because all salvageable items are in a warehouse owned by my restoration company or with specialists who deal with art and antiques. My best jewelry was stolen.

If there is a silver lining to the last few months, Charlie is fine, and my pneumonia is gone. Chubb, my insurance company, has been fabulous. I can't say enough good things about them. Please check your insurance policy and make sure that you have a guaranteed rebuild clause (regardless of cost), more than adequate contents coverage (riders for valuables), and will have the money to live somewhere while your destroyed house is rebuilt. Chubb is paying for the rehab center where I will stay for the duration. It's five minutes from my house, and I feel safe here. I have a two bedroom apartment with a sprinkler system in every room...and Charlie seems happy.

Writing this has brought tears to my eyes. One of the restoration guys said I have PTSD. Could be true. I told my doctor I thought I might need a psychiatrist. I wasn't kidding. They weren't kidding when they told me I have a new job, with no pay. The work involved in making decisions, meeting people at my house every day, buying clothes and other necessities, and more has been continuous. Thank God Chubb is supplying me with the money I need to live.

That's the outline of "where I've been." Many of you have asked, and I'm grateful for your love.

I couldn't get a photo into this feature. I tried, but finally punted.


34 comments:

Carol Schutte said...

Wow! Stay resilient and know we all care how you are doing.
I’ve missed speaking with you when our paths crossed
Stay healthy

Glogirl said...

So sorry to hear this! Hoping there are better days ahead for you and that you would find peace in the midst of all your struggles.

Brooke @ Blushing Noir said...

I'm so sorry to hear this!!! I often think about you and am glad that you're now well and were safe from the fire. Your insurance company sounds wonderful which is a huge relief to hear after some of the horror stories that come out of those types of places. It's been a tragedy for sure and I hope that things only get better and brighter for you. You're such a lovely person and you deserve the very best. You're irreplaceable and I'm glad you're still with us. <3

Betty Kondrich said...

You've been missed. I relied on your sound advice. But please take care of yourself. I'm glad that both you and Charlie are safe.

Jodi said...

I was see a post from you pop up, however not to hear the reasons why. A real kick in the teeth! Stay strong, I’m sure your positive spirits and love from Charlie will see you through to new beautiful home. Much love xxx

S G24747 said...

My goodness, I am truly sorry to hear such news.
Blessings are that you and Charlie are safe and that you are on the road to recovery. Since your blog stopped I have always checked to see if you posted anything new as I loved your blog and loved hearing about and what was happening with you. You sure are missed!
I pray for you and wish you peace within yourself and hope that the days ahead become easier for you.
Please get stronger and healthier!
Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers with only the best good wishes sent your way.

Lea said...

You are really in quite the storm--Thank you for sharing. I have wondered if you've been ok, as I have not seen a post for quite sometime. A fire is a huge loss and a very difficult thing from which to rebound. So thankful your insurance is helping so much! My house also burned down when I was a child. Thankfully, we all escaped, but the damage kept us out for 8 months and most all was lost (to either fire or the smoke damage). It was devastating, and the memories are as vivid today as they were in '75. Grateful someone found you and you are now healing from the pneumonia. Glad you are ok. I am praying for you today, with all of the life changes you are suddenly facing and the decisions demanded of you as you move forward. May God be so close to you during this time, flood you with His peace and give you the strength and energy to walk and not faint. You can "soar" again later. :) (Rom. 15:13, Phil. 4:7, Is. 40:31)

Thankful for you.

Love, Lea

Anonymous said...

Dear Charleston Girl,

I am so sorry to learn of your illness and misfortunes! I can't imagine losing all my "stuff", one's "stuff" is the story of one's life. I do understand how desolate you must feel about it, and also how difficult it must be to start again. Thank God for insurance companies that do not try to cheat or renege on their promises.

All the mental "work" you are doing with regard to rebuilding, however, may actually be a real saving grace. It keeps your mind occupied with new problems and solutions and helps you to avoid dwelling on what is lost.

Thank goodness your precious baby was with you and you were saved that terrible grief.

I hope to hear of your progress on your house and in general getting your life back--you know your readers are with you now just the same as when you were talking makeup and skincare, and it might be cathartic for you too!

Very best regards,
Sandy

Rosalie said...

How awlful for you!. I am so sorry you are going through this!

Sharon Macklin said...

Oh my...what a series of ordeals! I am so, so sorry this happened to you, but you are alive, ?Charlie is alive, and you were smart to have the right insurance.

Please do seek counseling...it will help you get past this.

I will continue to monitor this space. All best wishes being sent your way.

alrenwald said...

I missed you and Charlie! I am sorry to hear about these recent turn of events in your life )-: But from what I can tell, you have stayed strong throughout all this. All the best in rebuilding your house (as well as your life). Thank goodness for Chubb! But for the other rebuilding, please get all the help that you need. And of course, we are here for you.

Anonymous said...

I’m so sorry about this! Thank God for great insurance and the neighbors called the police. Things will get better you are rebuilding. I’m so glad you shared this news please keep us updated I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers. I missed hearing from you. Love Kris in Seattle

Pamela said...

I'm so sorry, but glad you and Charlie are safe. I used to work with local fire departments and this is very common when having work done in an attic. Many times it was because they smoked while working and left a smoldering cigarette butt in the insulation.

sensitive poet said...

I am so sorry for your tragic losses, but thank God that you still have the most important people and things in your life: your health, Charlie, devoted friends, and not to be minimized, support of your insurance company as you begin to rebuild your life. All best thoughts as you continue your journey into health and healing.

Virginia said...

Oh gosh, I am so sorry! They always say, when it rains, it pours. Definitely true in this case. I can't imagine what you have gone through and I hope you are getting the help you need (for your mental wellness as well!) and have the support you need. We are here for you as well!!

Anonymous said...

OMG!!! I am so sorry this has happened to you.

lmc1971 said...

You are in my prayers...sending good vibes and lots of hugs your way. This too shall pass and you will emerge stronger than ever.

God bless,
Lisa

Lisa Clemons said...

I'm so very sorry to hear this, thank God someone called for you to be checked on! I too have been through a housefire and know what its like to lose everything. The only difference is that I was very young (early 20's) so I didn't really have anything too valuable other than our lives. We were home with a young baby and her coughing woke me up at 3am. So she basically saved our lives. I had just discussed moving her into another room and my husband talked me out of it Thank GOD!!! My thoughts and prayers go out to you and Charlie. Take care and God Bless!!

Juliana Ficheli said...

Stay strong my dear! These tough times shall pass too. You will come out of it all stronger than ever!

Jeanne said...

Charleston Girl, I am so sorry to hear about your tragedies! I will be thinking of you and sending positive thoughts for your continued good health and a fully restored home. This is also a good time to tell you how much your blog has meant to me and how much I have missed it. Just a few weeks ago I had a makeover with Dustin Lujan in NY. We talked about how much you meant to both of us, and he explained to me how different blogging is today compared to when you started. Take care of yourself and give us updates when you can.

Pamela Peters said...

I am so sorry to hear all this - yes, indeed, I think a dr would be of help. Not bc you are weak - you are not - but bc surviving all this must have left you drained!! Better days are ahead, your health is good - and that is a lot. I have wondered where you were, and missed your posts.

In time, this will only make you stronger (probably don't want to hear that right now), but, for right now - hey - you have been so kind to me trying to find the Le Metier Blush K-scope -what from your make-up collection might make you feel better? If I have it - I'd love to send it to you. Isn't that what we are all for - to hold each other up?? Do you have a favorite lipstick or brand? I believe that when you look good, you feel good, and, losing everything is a very serious hurdle to overcome.

I'd imagine the grief that comes with the health issue and the home must be difficult - I hope you have a circle of friends on whom you can lean, and think about some PTSD stuff - even just writing this brought you to tears, you said, but that can be cleansing.

I am sending you a virtual hug, and am serious about the makeup - nothing would make me happier than to send you a bundle to make you smile - what would you like? Pamela112358 at g mail dot com.

Hummingbird5 said...

I am happy and relieved to hear from you, and very sorry to hear of your troubles. Thank you for writing about this. I am thinking of you and wish you strength and peace.

Melissa said...

I am so sorry to hear this. I hope your days get brighter and full of sunshine. I always enjoyed your blogs and learned so much from you. Love and prayers to you and Charlie.

Mamavalveeta03 said...

I’m so sorry to hear about all of these things that have befallen you, A. I have thought about you over the months and guessed that you had given up blogging. Above all, I’m glad that you and Charlie are safe and have a roof over your head. Positive thoughts and hugs are co I got your way! XOX Val

Eileen said...

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: You are the best thing in beauty, Adrienne. You’re strength and resiliency is commendable, but it’s good that you know when to reach out for assistance in grappling with such a terrible string of events. I hope that counseling will help you regain your balance and that you’ll learn some sound coping strategies for PTSD. Thank heavens you and Charlie are safe, that your health has improved, and that your insuarance company is handling everything so well. You’re one in a million and even though you stopped blogging qualité awhile ago, I’m sure you’ve continued to be in many of our thoughts. All my best wishes, positive energy, and affection are coming your way. You and your lovely Charlie be well.

Catherine said...

I am SO HAPPY to "see you" and am so sorry for what happened. Thinking of you & missing all of your posts. Hugs to you.

Amalia said...

I'm shocked reading this! Wishing you hope, and faith, and strength. big hugs from Greece.

Charleston Girl said...

Thank you all for your best wishes! You made my day.

Yes, I'm buying makeup to replace what was lost. AND, the manager of the Guerlain boutique in Las Vegas sent me a wonderful care package, and my favorite Chanel person is sharing new introductions with me. They are the kindest people. Pamela, I'll be fine, but your offer was unprecedented. Thank you.

I found my back-ups of Tiger in the Wild, shrinkwrapped and protected! My all-time favorite Palette survived, thanks to Chantecaille's careful packing. I've been moving perfume to my temporary living place every day because the restoration company won't put flammable items in their warehouse. My wine collection is toast. I think I saved five of hundreds of bottles. About 600 books were lost to water. Those firemen poured water on my house for hours.

One happy story: a fireman asked me if I could save one thing in my house, what would it be? I said the Frank Stella hanging on the living room wall. He donned a respirator and went into my smoke-filled house and got it for me. There is a place in heaven for him.

Eli Mc said...

I am thankful that you and Charlie are safe and doing well now. Your absence has not gone unnoticed as you can see with all the comments, inquiries made previously and down-right concern for you. Sending prayers for you! And, so happy to see your post this morning. Many blessings -

Lydia said...

I'm so very sorry this happened to you. But, I'm glad you're safe and healthy. Sending you hugs.

Mamavalveeta03 said...

Firefighters are angels! They risk life and limb for us everyday. So glad he could save your artwork!

Anonymous said...

For some reason I thought of your blog today and I’m so sorry to read of your troubles and health scare. Many people miss your blog and your wonderful reviews, there’s some pretty makeup out there and I know you’re in the depths of despair, but I firmly believe this too shall pass. Please take care of yourself! Always a good thing to talk to a counselor/therapist after going through such a devastating situation. I’m still dealing with hurricane Irma damage and stress and it ain’t easy! Peace and love to you, CG!

Sandra said...

What devastating news, Charleston Girl! I have missed you as I relied on your expertise, and I am so sorry you have had such horrific troubles. Thankfully you and Charlie are safe! You are strong, and can get through this setback. You have all of our prayers and good wishes, and we all sincerely care! Stay strong!

Susan said...

Oh my, I was so happy to see a post from you after such a long absence, then I read it and felt awful. I am so sorry for all you are going thru. Please know that you have many "friends" pulling for you and hoping for the best. You are cared about and we all are rooting for you.