Dad recounts moments when home went up in flames in post—and the truth went completely viral

December 5, 2017 12:17 pm Last Updated: December 20, 2017 12:22 pm

There is that saying,”you don’t know what you have until it’s gone,” and for John MacIsaac, it was a close call.

Luckily, MacIsaac still has everything he loves and appreciates from his family, his friends, and career. And in the aftermath of a terrible tragedy, he wrote to explain just how close, as his family just narrowly escaped the massive fire that attacked their city of Fort McFurray.

A state of emergency has been declared for Fort McMurray, where a giant wildfire ripped through over 24 thousand acres in May 2016. MacIsaac and his family were apart of the 88,000 people ordered to leave the area. In his Facebook post, MacIsaac explained how he couldn’t stop thinking about how he’d lost everything, but he goes on and explains that he in fact has everything that he needs—and that is his family.

MacIsaac typed this beautiful appreciation letter in a camp room just days after the escape, and poured out his appreciation for his family.

(Facebook/John Craig MacIsaac)

“I keep reminding myself of what I know to be true more than ever. I have everything in this room with me. When I was leaving our home I looked all around and tried to decide what was important enough to take and the answer was nothing. Nothing mattered except my family,” he poured out on his Facebook post.

At one point, MacIsaac did not think he or his family would make it out of the fire filled town, and looking at his daughter, Emma, in her innocence gave him a new found appreciation of life.

“I looked at my angel and I have never felt such a fear. Such dread thinking I wouldn’t be able to save what I hold dear. That’s what I can’t shake. What I can’t let go.”

(Facebook/ John Craig MacIsaac)

Besides getting things off his chest, MacIsaac wants people to reconnect with family members they have not spoken to. Life is too short and he wants everyone to appreciate their families while they are still here.

“I hope it will make everyone squeeze your kids a little tighter this week. Call your sister you are angry at and make up, or your brother you haven’t had time to chat with in a while and say hi. Tell your loved ones they are loved and make time for a family dinner.”

(Facebook/ John Craig MacIsaac)

Though the place where he started his family, career, and friendships is at a standstill, he realizes that all of those things still exist. MacIsaac sees the good in all and shares the positive actions of the Fort Murray community. “I saw camp workers going up to the desk of their camp trying to hand in their keys so families could have a place to stay. People smiling and people in tears, and children running and laughing. It gives me hope that people are better than we think. More caring and selfless. Kind and compassionate.”

MacIsaac is complete and thankful for his family. Whatever bad things that are going on between you and a loved one “does not matter,” being here physically and safe is most important.

I am laying here in the dark on the floor of a camp room. My family was fortunate enough to get a room but I know not…

Posted by John Craig MacIsaac on Tuesday, May 3, 2016