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 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 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.

Cheryl Wyatt


  1. Cheryl -- I heard about the fire from a post Dream put on eHarlequin. So glad everyone was safe. Hugs to you and yours. And, yes, next time write about a lottery win (but not one of those where people try to kill the lottery winners for their money - LOL). Happy Thanksgiving --


  2. I saw Camy's post on Facebook about someone needing prayers and didn't realize it was you! So sorry for this to have happened, especially on the eve of Thanksgiving. God Bless your family during these times of trial. I am thankful that you have a grateful heart and can see the blessings in the ashes. Trust the Lord to provide, and this too shall pass.

    Hugs to you,

  3. Cheryl,
    I understand where you are coming from. Fifteen years ago our home burnt to the ground. No one was hurt, thank God, but we lost almost everything. I can say that tongue in cheek because we discovered what wonderful friends and family we had as they rushed to our rescue with money, clothes, even a place to live. Out of hardship comes something better. Happy Thanksgiving and hugs, too.

  4. So sorry about the fire, glad every one is ok and hope you had a great Thanksgiving.


  5. Oh Cheryl....I am so very sorry to learn about the fire. I am keeping you and your family close in prayer, and know the Lord will provide what you need. ~ How awesome you are counting the blessings after this horrible experience (no lives lost, no injuries, support from friends, etc.). Keep leaning on the Lord- - He will get you through this time. Hugs and Love, Patti Jo

  6. Oh, Cheryl, I'm sorry about your business. I can't even imagine watching 20 years of work go up in smoke. And, I'm humbled thinking about friends who volunteer to fly in. Camy is truly a gem, and well, Dream is a dream.

  7. Janet, thanks. And LOL about writing about lottery winners.

    Caroline, thanks for your kind words. I appreciate your words of encouragement so much.

    Pat, I know I'm probably being selfish by saying this but I'm so glad it wasn't our home as that would have been worlds more stressful. My sister had a house fire a couple years about devastating. The water caused more damage than the smoke and fire.

    Edna, thank you. We did have a good Thanksgiving all things considered.

    Hi Patti--you always cheer me up. Thank you so much for your love and concern and especially the prayers.

    Pamela, true friends are such a blessing. Camy and Danica are gifts from God for sure.

    Thanks everyone!


  8. Cheryl so sorry about the fire but am thankful for all that went right.
    Oh and maybe you do need to write about the lotery.
    do you think if you wrote about going to the cricket it would get you to Australia quicker?
    Praying for all involved.

  9. Hi Jenny! LOL about writing about Cricket. I would LOVE to! You could assist me with research. :-)

    Thank you for your prayers!


  10. Cheryl,
    What an amazing list of things to be thankful for this year. I'm so glad that no one was hurt and hope that y'all are back on your feet (literally for you) very soon.


  11. I sure could with cricket!!!!!!!
    watching it at present between the garage sale at my place (not my stuff but its here) and its pooring rain right now.

  12. Thanks, Steph!

    Jenny...whenever you're ready! I love talking about Cricket and am eager to learn. I'll contact you when I have some time to brainstorm a story surrounding it.


  13. Hey Cheryl,
    You know, something told me when I saw this post that I wanted to wait to read I waited until something good happened(3/4 college applications submitted!) to read this. I am so sorry that I'm so late though!

    I cannot even imagine. I used to have nightmares nightly(lol) that our house was burning. *shudder* I hated them! But those were only nightmares...I am just so sorry. This is something that was obviously incredibly important and a significant part of your life. My heart goes out to you and your whole family during this season. I am thankful that you are alright. I hope, in spite of everything terrible, you guys had a great holiday and can start thinking about Xmas!! ; )

    Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers,

  14. Cheryl--I'm so sorry you and your family are having to go through this. I've been there too and understand your thankfulness. My home burned practically to the ground 20 years ago on a frozen Christmas eve Sunday morning. My sons were sick that day and we were home from church and they were 2 and 4 years old and literally had only diapers and underware on. I got them out and stood with my neighbors and crowds of friends who came straight from church when they heard it was happening. My poor husband was at work and had to drive 30 minutes home trying to get to us while knowing this was happening. I felt for him. But like you God is good an faithful and I praise God that my children were safe (almost naked but safe :)and on that Christmas morning from the ashes of loss we truly learned the meaning of Christmas. The love of our friends and family and even complete strangers was beautiful. People said we should have been devastated but we saw too much good come from it and thankfully we were blessed with good insurance. I'm so thankful God blessed you with the trucks being out working so you can keep up and going. And so thankful no one was harmed...I remember praying no firemen would be harmed because that would have made it devastating indeed. My heart is with you. God bless you all.

  15. So sorry to hear about the fire! How awful! Praise the Lord no one was hurt! I will keep your family in my prayers. I know a loss like that has to be very hard for you and your family. God be with you during this difficult time.

  16. Thanks everyone. It's much tougher on my husband but he has such a positive outlook and "keep pressing on and moving forward" attitude. He blesses me and his strengths really shine in situations like this. We definitely feel your prayers! Thank you all. They plan on rebuilding very Christmas if they can get everything cleaned up. Your prayers and kind words mean so much.
    Blessings to you!

  17. Ohhh Cheryl, I'm sorry I'm late--and very sorry for your great loss. Sending my best wishes for a speedy rebuilding.

  18. Wow! That's a GREAT goal! I really hope you can accomplish it!!!

    Prolly sending an email your way over the weekend, Cheryl....don't worry nothing bad! The EXACT opposite!!!

  19. Patti and Hannah, you both are so sweet. Thank you for brightening my life with your presence.




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