Out of the ashes

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

The Derocher family is picking up the pieces after losing their house and their pet to a fire on July 20. The emotional trauma has taken a toll on the family but they are taking it “one day at a time.”

Wife, mother and nurse Angie Derocher (formerly Angie Anderson) is trying to put what has happened to her family into perspective so that they can move on with their lives.

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“All of it is very overwhelming,” said Derocher on Tuesday.

Derocher considers herself to be a strong person, but says that this traumatic experience has made her look to God for strength and understanding.

“I know God’s gonna make this trial into a blessing,” she said.

She says that her husband and stepsons are dealing with the ordeal ok, but her son, David Anderson, cannot bring himself to go back to the site that was their home.

Derocher visited the site on Wednesday and recovered items that she never thought she’d see again.

Out of the ashes, she found some photos, ceramic angels and a ceramic church decoration given to her by her mother.

“I had all types of angels and figurines in a curio cabinet that was right along in there,” she pointed out among the charred remains of her home.

Also found were parts of her father’s Bible. Though partially burned, two pages facing up were readable.

“I told my husband, there’s a message in here,” said Derocher.

One part of the Bible was turned to The Old Testament.

One verse reading, “I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards,” Ecclesiastes 2:4.

The other part was turned to the New Testament.

One verse reading, “The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, follow me,” St. John 1:43.

Derocher says she plans to preserve these items and place them in her new home as a reminder of what has happened.

Also found on Wednesday was the family cat, Alley.

“She was shaken and had lost some weight,” said Derocher.

“I just picked her up and held her and told her everything is going to be ok.”

The family has received much support from friends, family and strangers. Wednesday was her son’s seventeenth birthday and a family friend went out of her way to give him a birthday party with pizza and video games.

Derocher was overwhelmed with such an act of kindness.

Friends have also set up the Derocher Fire Relief Fund for the family at Regions Bank.

“That was very touching,” said Derocher.

Anyone wishing to donate items to the family can listen to Dixie 100 for details.

“We want to pick it up and thank the people personally,” said Derocher. “I don’t want anyone to think that anything they do or any prayer they pray will be taken for granted.”

Looking out over the ashes, Derocher said that going back to the site of her home has brought her peace and that all the things lost in the fire can be replaced.

“I can’t curl up with my grandmother’s afghan, but it’ll be ok,” she said.

“It’ll all be ok one day at a time.”

Derocher vows that the kindness shown to her and her family, she will show to others who will go through the fire.