When asked how she was always able to take things in stride, Camilla told the story of her house burning down when she was ten years old. The fire was no one’s fault, it was just a matter of faulty electric wiring in an old house constructed of mostly wood. From the attic to the cellar, the entire thing was reduced to ash, taking everything they owned with it.
Camilla buried her face in her mother’s shoulder and sobbed uncontrollably until her well of tears ran dry. Her breath hitched as she exclaimed, “This is the worst thing that could ever happen to us!”
Her mother cupped Camilla’s face in her hands and said, “Aren’t we lucky?”
In answer to her daughter’s confused expression, she added, “If this is the worst possible thing that could ever happen to us and we made it to the other side alive and in one piece, then everything else that comes our way will be a piece of cake.”
“But we lost everything, Mama!”
“We lost things, not everything, and things can always be replaced. Besides, with everything all burned up, now we can start again fresh and make it all better.”
Ever since that day, Camilla learned to view difficult life situations as “fires,” some could be put out quickly and others had to burn completely in order for her to rise from the ashes like a phoenix and begin anew.