Yesterday evening, nTelos, Brandermill, and the Chesterfield Fire Department made our Christmas a little bit brighter.
During the first few hours after the fire was out on December 9, I began to think about the Christmas presents in the garage. Of course, they were gone now. I cried at the thought of all the things we had bought for the kids, and all the other things that they already had, that were now lost. I thought about the Christmas tree in the living room, now a melted smoldering mess. And all of our Christmas decorations, spread all over the house, because our house always looks like Christmas threw up in it from Thanksgiving to New Years. We wouldn’t be able to have that this year, for sure. At that point, on that day, I didn’t even know if we would have Christmas this year.
Then, yesterday happened. And Christmas will happen, for sure. And it will be a Christmas my whole family will never forget.
My employer, nTelos, has organized a donation drive company wide. Locally, they organized an effort to make sure we had Christmas. Yesterday, they came to the house and set up a Christmas tree, complete with lights and ornaments. Also, they gave us a brand new camera, to capture the memories of Christmas morning. And a Tickle Me Elmo Extreme for the kids. This present, loudly laughing in his box, we opened right away. Everyone enjoyed watching Elmo get tickled. Christi and I were left speechless at everything that everyone has done for us. Thank you, nTelos.
The entire community of Brandermill, through our neighbor Michelle Jamieson, has gone to extreme lengths to ensure that the kids had something to open Christmas morning. Yesterday, Michelle called and said we could pick up the presents to put under our tree. It was literally a truckload of gifts. All addressed to Cooper, to Sarah, to Leanna, to Greg, to Christi, and to Shirley, from Friends. And I think that’s what we’ve found we have the most of during this time: Friends. More friends than we ever knew. So, to our Friends in the Brandermill Community, Michelle Jamieson, and everyone else who helped Michelle make this happen, Thank you.
Yesterday, the Chesterfield Fire Department stopped by the house also. This was the entire crew that worked so hard, under adverse conditions, to try to stop the blaze on our home. I lost count of the number of firemen (and women) in our home. They brought gifts for all of us. Leanna especially loved her new CD player, which was very much like the one she listened to every night going to sleep before December 9. Thank you.
I know many other people have worked very hard, and given very much, to help make our Christmas brighter. You are not forgotten. We’ve received so much in the way of donations, gifts, and prayers, that Christi, Shirley, and I are just speechless. We don’t know exactly how to say thank you for all the help you’ve given us, because a simple “Thank You” doesn’t seem to quite cover it. You’ve lifted our spirits with your kindness, enriched our hearts with your love, and shown us that communities really can come together to help each other. We’ll never look at the world, or life, the same way again. Thank you.
- Home for the Holidays: Giving Thanks