Thursday, November 26, 2009
Cheryl Wyatt with Thanksgiving Despite Difficulties
Cheryl Wyatt here. Most years are a joyous occasion for our family during the holidays. But some years are difficult due to hardship or loss that occurs during the season. I didn't want this post to be a downer but I can't help but think about the people for whom today is hard.
Night before last, our family business, the one my husband has built for two decades, burned.
The building--which housed seven small businesses and equipment for the same...total loss. I lost count of how many nearby towns sent firetrucks and firemen to help...most of whom work on a volunteer basis and have jobs outside their homes. Today I'm thankful for them. I'm thankful they got there within minutes.
I'm thankful for neighbors who rushed outside and came around us, arms encircling my waist, as the building burned. I'm thankful no one was injured when things, vehicle gas tanks, etc. started exploding. I'm thankful the steel beams didn't break with firemen inside. I'm thankful that the gas main, located in the hottest part of a fire that raged above the tree tops and spanned the diameter of the structure, did not break. Had that happened, it would have caused a tremendous explosion which could have injured or killed firefighters. I'm thankful for EMTs and Paramedics who came to standby and hydrate firemen and women with water and be ready to administer oxygen when smoke became too much. I'm thankful that a couple of my husband's crews had vehicles out after working so that meant they weren't in the building when it burned. It also means they can keep skeleton crews running and all his employees paychecks coming in during holidays.
He has many employees who support their families, wife and children, with the job. I'm thankful those employees rushed to come support my husband when they heard the business was burning. They offered moral support and comic relief for my husband during a tough time. I'm thankful for a sense of humor that enabled me to laugh when I tripped over a fire hose (those things do NOT budge) and re injured the knee I chipped in a wreck two years ago. LOL!
I'm thankful for the paramedic who reminded me that I'd just brainstormed a story about a fire department that burned and here's first hand research and gently suggested I should take notes.
That made me remember that the series before this, I wrote about a woman who broke her ankle in a bridge collapse, then two months later I was hit by an impaired driver and...you guessed it...fractured my ankle and crushed my foot.
I responded to the EMT, who is a friend, that I think from now on I will write about people who win the lottery.
I'm thankful for insurance.
I'm thankful for people who kept the moment light when I could have stood there sobbing instead. Somehow, despite our livelihood literally going up in smoke, I found moments to laugh. I'm thankful for two writer friends, Camy and Dream, who were ready to hop planes that instant and come be with my husband and I who live in Illinois. They live in Denver and California. And I know they would have had I said, "Come." Camy literally did fly in when I had to have a series of surgeries after the wreck. She was a tremendous help to my family.
So today, our family has a lot to be thankful for despite the difficulty and that it will probably take a year to get everything even halfway what it was. God will provide, of that I have no doubt. I'm thankful for the calls and emails of support and for all the people who are praying.
If you are having a difficult day today because of loss or heartache or hardship, please know you are in my thoughts and prayers. It's not a happy time for everyone but God is very, very near to the broken-hearted and He saves those who are crushed in spirit. He is thankful for YOU. Praying that you have a strong sense of His presence today and that He overwhelms you with peace and joy, friends and family to buoy you this day and this season.
I'm thankful that for most of you, today will be a joyous occasion. Enjoy your family and your friends and yummy food. God bless you and yours.