It’s amazing how sometimes you think about something you haven’t thought about in years. Yesterday, my mind took me back to when I was 15. It was about this time of year. We lived in a town called Honey Brook, where I grew up.
My grandmother, whom I referred to as “nanny”, lived next door to us. I spent a lot of time over there, watching “Laverne and Shirley”, “Happy Days” and “General Hospital” after I got home from school. Every Tuesday night, we would hang out and watch “The A Team” together.
I spent the night at her house often. That night, however, changed our lives forever. I don’t remember what time it was, it was late because I was sleeping. I awoke to my mother’s voice, fearful and shaken. She fell asleep making french fries I believe and the oil boiled over and caught the curtains covering the oven on fire. The smoke detectors didn’t go off, but she managed to wake up and get out of the house with my brother. I often shudder to think if she hadn’t, neither of them would be here today. What a blessing!
It was a surreal experience, watching everything we owned go up in flames. It was almost like a slow motion video, you know what I mean? The fire engines pulling in our driveway, the firemen axing the roof, the sound of flammable cans in our basement exploding.
The next day, we stepped inside what was once our home, the smell of soot and stale smoke was suffocating. As I walked through the rooms, everything was burnt, all our memories were reduced to ash. It was devastating enough, to lose our home, but to experience that loss so close to the holidays was even more of a shock.
I wanted to share this with all of you in the spirit of this holiday, because it is the holiday of giving. We had people we didn’t even know sending us clothes, food, blankets, anything they thought we needed. It was heartbreaking, but it was also amazing.
So, the next time you see someone in need, don’t hesitate to lend a helping hand, even if it’s just a smile or a kind thought. You’d be amazed how something so little can change someone’s life.
Happy Holidays everyone and may it bring you joy, peace and love!