[box]This post about the Thomas Fire is part of my series called “How Life Got In The Way,” which is about what has happened during my year-long “hiatus” from writing for the Orange County Moms Blog. If you haven’t read the first or second posts yet, click here and here to get caught up![/box]
It was rough for California in 2017. So. Many. Fires. Anaheim Hills. LA. Ventura. Napa. Sonoma. Just to name a few. So much loss. The Anaheim Hills fire shook us, but the Thomas Fire affected us immensely.
A dear friend was one of the first to lose her home in rural Santa Paula that her husband built with his own hands. This, in and of itself is tragic enough. Yet, three months prior, she also lost that very husband, and father to their two children, to a rare form of germ cell cancer. He was one of the good ones. One of those people you meet, perhaps only once, but they leave an impression on you for life. He was kind. Wickedly smart. Adventurous. Caring. Intense, but also gentle. Silly. Handy. Insanely funny. Vivacious. So real and unpretentious—what you saw was what you got. All who knew him cannot believe that he-of all people-is gone…. To cancer, no less.
He left behind a truly remarkable woman and two adorable girls. She lost her husband. She lost her home. Nearly all physical traces of him were lost in the Thomas Fire. Virtually everything she possessed was burned and lost.
I called upon the community to help my dear friend and her girls—and you responded. With your help, I was able to raise $3,000 in cash and gift cards as well as an overwhelming amount of clothing, housewares, and gear for the kids.
I cannot convey my appreciation enough to those who pitched in.
I am so proud to live in such a wonderful, giving community. She was so humbled and overcome with gratitude for all that was passed her way. What she couldn’t use, or received too much of, she then re-donated to others in need. I am happy to report that 2018 is looking to be a better year. Our friend has found a beautiful new home for her girls. She’s moving along. It’s tough, but she’s tougher. I am astounded by her fortitude every day.
Stay tuned for Part 4 of my How Life Got In The Way post series. To be continued….