Friday, November 23, 2012
It was one of those Thanksgivings that smacks you upside the head and makes you remember your priorities. I got a phone call from my daughter. I didn't think too much of it. I figured she was probably going to tell me that she would be late, but it was kind of surprising that she was letting me know several hours before we were supposed to get together.
But this wasn't just another "running late" call. My daughter was standing across the street watching the apartment building she had lived in burn to the ground. She had awoken to the smoke alarm and made it out of the building with nothing but the clothes on her back, her cell phone and her purse. A neighbor (also a fireman) that came over because he saw smoke met her at the door and, bless him, grabbed my granddaughter's bike. Because Jessica had worked late the night before (she has a full time day job plus works as a bartender part-time AND goes to college), Jalyssa was spending the night with the babysitter. Already, so much to be thankful for. There are five apartments in that building. Everybody lost all their "stuff," but nobody was hurt. Five families that didn't lose their mothers, fathers, or children. And my four-year old granddaughter was spared exiting the smoke-filled apartment in a panic.
But the response of the community has just been fantastic. She is staying with her babysitter, the local car dealer made her a set of keys for her car with no charge, the furniture store donated a couch and bed. There have been so many private donations of money, clothing, furniture, that I haven't been able to keep track. Of course, Jessica is a bit in shock, but it is comforting to know that she is being taken care of.
So, on this Black Friday, give your children an extra hug and take a moment to relax and enjoy them.