Sixteenth of a Million Memories

I bet you thought I gave up! To be honest, in my old age, I am learning to be more forgiving of myself. Did I miss posting EVERY DAY? I sure did. Well, I’m back today. I hope to continue every day going forward, but I might not. I’ll do my best (with numerous precious priorities in my life), but my blog may have to take a backseat.

Today’s post is about a NEWER memory. It’s about the love shown to me and my family after our home burned in September 2012. If I forget to mention your name, PLEASE don’t think it means I don’t appreciate your kindness! I am planning to create numerous posts dedicated to that time in our lives. I am hoping to chronicle my memories to help others deal with similar events. As I stated earlier this morning, on my other blog, (today’s post, if you’re interested in reading) “my faith in humanity was RESTORED and I will forever remember that time in my life as PRECIOUS!”

The morning of the fire, I headed out my front door as fast as I could, hoping to save as much of our home as possible (and our puppy who I chose to leave inside for fear of my own death). I ran to my next door neighbor’s door, who was kind enough to call 911 for me, a few times I think! Next, God placed two women on our street in front of my home from nowhere! I had never seen them PRIOR to that morning and I have never seen them since. One of the ladies was kind enough to let me use her cell phone to call my husband; who was in Pittsburg, PA for the VA Tech game. I don’t remember making any other calls, but somehow the word got around. Before long, there were NUMEROUS individuals on our street, watching with me in horror, as our house was totally engulfed in flames and thick black smoke; some I knew, some I didn’t.

(Please forgive me if I remember the order incorrectly, it in no way reflects how I grateful I was and am!) I will never forget looking down the street and seeing one of my very dear friends, Tara Mays, walking toward me. My initial thought – and this is the absolute truth – was what’s she doing here? I know Christians gather around other Christians when there is a death, but this was only a fire, for Heaven’s sake. I had no idea how much I would NEED her (or the rest of my Church family) during this time in my life. Before long, the youth minister and his wife arrived on the scene! Then our other youth minister. Next, another dear friend, Jennifer Clemons, and her husband and son. Our senior minister got there late; he was stuck in the Denbigh Day Parade traffic and couldn’t get out! My son got the word and was on his way from Virginia Beach – which meant so much to me!!!! (A side note-this was the weekend VDOT decided to close the HRBT for construction – backing up traffic for HOURS and HOURS over the Monitor Merrimac Bridge Tunnel. My son’s daughter, Harper, was a little over a month old and I know how much he hated leaving them – not to mention being STUCK on the peninsula until early the next morning. Peter has been a blessing to me his whole life, always helping me in times of trouble!) The next morning in Worship, I caught myself crying out of control. Honestly, I didn’t feel THAT sad and for the life of me I couldn’t figure out WHY I was crying so hard. Reflection months later provided my answer: It was the love I felt from my Father and my Church family! I was crying because I was touched by SO MANY – some I didn’t even know. Going forward, my needs were met in a way I could have NEVER anticipated – or believed! I am truly thankful for the entire experience.

I thought I would list just a couple of things that blessed me – in NO specific order:

Peter replacing my car fob (so I could drive my car!)
The Leadership at Northside Christian Church (for the way they led our Church family after our Church fire! What an amazing role model for me!)
Larry’s quarters for the laundry!
Tara’s coordinating everything for our family (and making homemade cookies!)!
Beth’s QUICK thinking! I would have NEVER thought to call Verizon!
Kim purchasing of clothing and many other “Can’t live without items”
Patti for having such a clutter-free house (making me grateful all our STUFF was gone and I didn’t have to do anything!)
Beth’s bathroom supplies (especially the blow dryer I STILL USE TO THIS DAY!)
One of Brooke’s friend’s UNBELIEVABLE gift card gift! It was such a blessing!
Ann’s visit and tears
Lynn and Judy’s dinner when we moved to the rental house!
Numerous donations of gift cards and cash!

I’ll be adding more to my story in the days to come….God is SO GOOD!!!!