By Julia della Croce
"I was still young when my life changed.... drastically. Shortly after midnight one Saturday... the smell of smoke awakened me. I ran to my mother's bed.... The next thing I saw was a wall of fire shooting up the staircase. Grabbing my one-year-old brother from his crib, I fled out my bedroom window to the roof and yelled to my six-year-old brother Ronny to come....
After working late, my father came down the street to find two of his sons on the roof and the rest of his family being consumed by flames. My mother, my invalid grandmother, and Ronny never made it.... Within moments my life fell apart.... Out of a desperate need for survival, I went inward... using memories, good feelings, and the experience I had of food as my solace and foundation...."