This morning a church near Dallas burned to the ground.
I've reminisced all day of the few memories I know of what used to be Beverly Hills Baptist Church. It's where my mom and her family attended when they were young. Where my mom met and built relationships with her three closest friends who remain friends for a lifetime. It's where my parents were married.
I didn't realize it until this afternoon that I felt an incomprehensible loss when I learned that this was the church that held so much of my heritage. Oh, to be able to talk to my mom and learn her thoughts and hear the memories.
I don't think I've ever step foot in that building but today felt like a punch in the gut - feeling like there's one more place that is gone that I can physically tie to my mom.
Maybe you've heard the phrase "the church is not a building". Yes, the roof and the walls and the material things are destroyed but the Church is the people who gathered there. So just like a building can hold memories, 800 N Westmoreland Rd is not fully representative of my mom. It's me, my family and her friends - people she touched and had an impact on along the way.
It will have been two years this March since she died and I can admit that some days the grief is still so fresh. There's even sometimes a shocking denial that this is my life now - that she really isn't here.
If she were here I think she would probably mourn the loss of a landmark that held so much importance in her life...but it would be temporary. It wouldn't change her. She would focus on all the good that came out of those years and how it shaped her future and ours.
I'm thankful that no one was hurt in the fire and thankful that the emergency responders were able to save their community center and additional attached buildings. The Church is intact.
From the stories I've seen online so far, it's nice to read and connect with generations whose lives were impacted within the walls of this one little church in Oak Cliff.