It’s been a range of emotions for Cherylynn Sheehan – fear, frustration, relief.
Originally from Snowflake, Manitoba, the mom of three boys and her husband Scott have made Wetaskiwin, Alberta their home.
It’s 600 kilometres away from Fort McMurray.
They had 90 minutes to pack before the official evacuation started last week. “We saw the smoke and had our evacuation bins ready.”
Sheehan chose not to take her wedding dress but forgot her engagement ring. She grabbed pictures and clothes but no jackets. She also forgot the kids’ passports.
People have been sending money for food with the relief cash from the government and Red Cross helping to buy groceries. “The support has been amazing from across Canada and around the world,” says Sheehan.
The boys, Austin, 13, Riley, 11 and Eric, 6 are headed to school in Wetaskiwin. “They are learning resiliency,” explains Sheehan. “It’s all part of the adventure.”
The worst was the scramble to get out of Fort McMurray. They were separated from friends. Some ended up north, others south. Home was first an evacuation area at Gregoire Lake Provincial Park. They were told to leave as the fire spread.
Mother’s Day was quiet. The boys got her a coffee mug.
Now it’s about insurance, finishing school and eventually making it back home.
We will continue to follow their progress.