In a trial by fire (pun intended) there are always heroes. They are people that show up at just the right time and do the things you could not do for yourself. The trial does not have to be large like cancer or losing your home. It can be anything that knocks you off your feet literally or spiritually. God will send his people, and sometimes he sends those that are not his. He can use anyone, anywhere, anytime. He is quite big. My point is that he puts you on someone’s heart and they act; wonderful grace for the moment. These people are reason you can keep moving forward in the trauma and the healing that follows. I have quite a list of people to be grateful for this Thanksgiving. We know that nothing from the past few months would have gone as smoothly without you all.
- The firefighters. Seems straightforward enough, but they came and quickly.
- My neighbor Suzanne and her husband
Gary. She was at my house as the fire trucks arrived with water and umbrellas for us. They provided their house as a place of refuge while we were waiting for them to put out the fire. They allowed all those that helped us to use her bathroom day and night…that was a huge blessing. When our stuff came back they helped us unload boxes.
- A former neighbor Phil. He is a fire fighter and came the night of the fire. He was our go between. He helped us with the paperwork and told us what was happening via his radio while we were waiting for the fire to be out. He also helped us find our rental house, because for his regular job he is a real estate agent.
- Bill’s mom and dad. They opened their doors and beds to a family of six with two dogs. She watched, cooked for, and cleaned up after my children. He walked the dogs every day. They love us and for that we are grateful.
- My mom and dad. They showed up ready to do whatever we needed. Dad took all our instruments to different stores for repair. They agreed to do the research for our inventory to find replacement prices. They also sat and waited for furniture to be delivered, repairmen to show up and a host of other things to get us back in the house. They love us and for that we are grateful.
- My friends Mary and Gail. They came and helped me with stuff around the house in the stench and heat. Writing down inventory and digging through the rubble. They brought food so that Bill’s mom had a break from the cooking. When the stuff arrived back at our house they helped unload boxes. They are wonderful friends and the three of us make a great team.
- My friends Mary (again) and Kerry. They helped us pull our dead dog out of the ditch and cried with us as we loaded her body on the truck. We knew they would understand.
- My friend Beth Anne. She stood in the soaring heat of summer at our storage unit for hours helping me go through boxes of clothes. We carted away 10 bags of stuff to the thrift store before heading to get a much needed pedicure which she paid for. Old friends make the best friends.
- Rita and Jim our landlords. They have been wonderful to allow us to rent on a month to month basis, doing what we need for the insurance and our family to make us welcome here.
- My prayer buddies Maria, Carolyn and Laurie (by proxy). They came to my new place to pray and support me. Then they came to my place to pray to welcome me home. Prayer changes things.
- My children…all four. They have been troopers and made this much easier than I thought it would ever be. They have made an effort to get along with one another and I more than appreciate the peace.
- My husband, again. What can I say? We have been through crisis after crisis and he knows me better than anyone. We are a team and we continue to work together through stuff like this as a team.
- The cleaning company. I know that they are getting paid for what they do, however they are doing their jobs with sensitivity and flexibility. I appreciate that.
- My friend Sherri. She brought me clothes that are far better than mine. I have a work wardrobe thanks to her.
- Other friends and family. Many purchased gift cards for immediate needs. Others offered to supply food or strong backs for moving stuff. We could not do life without this kind of support system.
- All of my friends that have taken in my kids for a night. That has helped them to feel like it is a normal summer. They always love to spend the night out and play at the houses of others. That has been a big help for me as well.
- Peter’s soccer team. These wonderful people, some of whom do not know us well at all, took up a collection. The coach Dennis Hill decided that rather than accept a coach’s gift that they would donate money to us. It was a total surprise and blessing to us. I cried.
- My teaching family. These ladies help each other in times of need. Pat brought us dinner when we moved back in. Traci sewed seams so my new curtains would fit. Martha brought boys clothing for my kids. I’ve already mentioned, Suzanne, Mary, and Beth Anne. I love working with caring people.
- The many who have offered to do whatever we needed. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot we can farm out in a practical sense. No one can go through our stuff for us, but the moral support that comes from the offers of help goes a long way to ease our minds and hearts. Not to mention your prayers…keep on praying. That is the main thing that carries us through our days.
Now that we are back home we continue to be blessed by so many people. It will take us months to get the house in complete order…what am I saying, our house is never in complete order…well, you know what I mean. The boxes are not labeled so it is like a scavenger hunt to find what you are looking for. A box of underwear, another for socks (not matched of course), several bags of shoes…on and on it goes. We have slowly been working our way through and have made great progress. I think that over the holidays we can get it done, but I didn’t want to neglect offering up a prayer of Thanksgiving to God for our blessings. We thank all of you and thank God for you. You are our heroes. Happy Thanksgiving.