Saturday morning...after learning of the housefire that destroyed a portion of Melissa Grant's home...I wrote a post asking for ActiveRain members to join me in giving Christmas back to Melissa and her family. I shared with you how the fire began in 15 year-old Joshua's room and destroyed ALL of his possessions. I told you about 7 year-old Grace and 6 year-old Cole's fear that Santa would not be able to find them this year. I asked you to place yourself in their shoes...to imagine how you would feel if you could not be in YOUR own home for Christmas...to ask yourself how you would cope with YOUR childrens' fear and grief. Your response was amazing...your outpouring of love inspiring!
This morning, I had a long conversation with Melissa. I shared with her some of the stories of how you have opened your hearts...many of you giving out of your own need. I encouraged her to go to her office and log onto AR...to read the many, loving comments you have left for her. After reading your comments, she left this comment for ALL of YOU!
I had a few minutes and access to the pc and I am sitting here reading all the beautiful comments and words simply cannot express how grateful...thankful I am for each and every one of you. You are all amazing people and well..I truly just don't know what to say. I'm sorry I cannot right now comment to each and everyone of you so I will try to sum things up as best I can.
Each day is a little different, emotionally, physically we are all okay. I seem to be wearing many different hats of emotion and staying strong for the kids..Josh, well..that's a hard one..what do you say, what do you do to make a 15 year old cope with losing 15 years of his treasures....The most amazing thing happened ...I got up in the middle of the night Saturday evening..I wanted to check on all the kids..I feel frightened over the littlest things now..hopefully that will pass...when I checked on Josh, he fell asleep with the bible he found in the nightstand, he lay there peacefully sleeping..the bible lay next to him and the way his arm was spread out it looked at though he was hugging it...I just kinda stood there in awe..knowing he was getting the peace he needs. My 2 little ones, are just really confused. The hotel Manager wrote a note addressing it to the children from Santa and stuck it to our door...they were excited to know that Santa found them and even though we didn't have a chimney he had a special key :)..
The weirdest thing for me is that everyone around us seems to know exactly what to say or do and i am usually that person. I would have never thought about a letter..from Santa..I would have never thought to have someone write a letter to Josh like Kris Wales did telling him from an outside source it wasn;t his fault and everything would be okay...I would have never thought to call someone like Vanessa did me this morning and hook up to kids with similar talents...
I know I have missed many calls and many emails. I appreciate all of them. In the hotel I sometimes get cell reception and sometimes I don't. Please know I am checking messages as often as possible and logging in as often as possible and will get back to everyone whom I am able to reach. As for me, well, some days are better than others but logging in here today has been so uplifting...and I really needed it. Sometimes I feel guilty if I laugh, then I feel guilty if I sort of go numb thinking to myself I don't care..I welcomed the frustrated/angry emotion on Friday when my son was given a detention for not having his school id that was in his room and the school new...I know that sounds weird but it gave me something else to do rather than feel guilty or numb... But, I have learned so much from all of this, especially the power of love...and to not take the little things for granted. I was speaking with Elizabeth earlier this morning and telling her it's those little things ..the things that are luxuries that become necessities in our lives...like a microwave for example..I don't have one in our hotel room...but how use to them we get..it makes you value things a little more..or like yesterday when I was at the laundry mat doing a load of cloths..you just look around and see ...everyone has laundry..some of us are lucky enough to be able to walk 15 ft in our home and do it...some us are not..Things change us, society changes us, the hype of what's in or what's not changes us....but..fire...has changed me...it has confirmed angels are among us, that God works in the most miraculous ways...that he will never give us more than we can handle...that we have no earthly idea what will happen tomorrow and to live today as if it were our last...that dirty socks, will always be there, that our children, our family is the most precious thing HE ever GAVE TO US...and I cannot imagine my life without them or all of you !
Thank you all so very much...for everything...for just people who you are...
As I shared with Melissa about YOUR overwhelming show of love and support, I realized that I also needed to share with you. ActiveRain is a community of real estate professionals from all over the country. Most of us have never met one another face-to-face. Yet, everyday we interact with one another through our blog posts. We exchange ideas...experiences...photos...successes...needs...OUR BURDENS. Galations 6:2 says, "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."
When I wrote the post about the fire in Melissa's home...I made you aware of Melissa's burden and asked you to help her carry it. YOU DID EXACTLY THAT! So many of you, who do not know Melissa or even me, stepped up alongside Melissa and took a portion of her load onto yourself. As you can see from her comment...your love and support has meant the world to her...giving her the strength she needs to keep moving forward. Isn't it wonderful to know that...one day...when you need some help to carry your burden...YOUR ActiveRain family will be there for you, too?
::DRUM ROLL PLEASE::
- So far...we have collected almost $450 in the Paypal Account.
- IF everyone who has committed to give sends in their checks...we will have an additional $1500-$2000.
- A young man (17 years old) heard about Josh losing ALL of his 'stuff' and decided to donate $20 of HIS OWN money to Josh.
- Another child asked her mom to give some of HER Christmas presents to Grace.
- An AR member has already gone online and ordered gifts for each of the children.
- Some of you have asked if you can send gifts as well as donations.
- One precious woman gave a small donation and asked God to mulitiply it 100 times. She gave ALL she had to give. I'm praying that God will bless her 100 times more than what she gave.
- A special AR member has been calling local and national real estate organizations and making them aware of Melissa's need.
- An AR member who desperately needs money to make a car repair made a donation.
- Several of YOU wrote posts pointing your readers back to my post...to get the word out faster about Melissa's need. Several large contributions were a direct result of your posts.
A Plea For Help For A Fellow Active Rainer by Tom Plant
Help for Melissa Grant and family by Missy Caulk
URGENT! An Active Rain member needs help! by Jason Crouch
One of Us Needs Help by Sarah Cooper
IT IS NOT TOO LATE TO GIVE!
IF you wish to make a donation to make Christmas special for Melissa Grant and her family...go to PayPal.com. My email address is the contact for the Melissa Grant Fire Relief Fund. Elizabeth@ElizabethNieves.com
FROM THE DEPTHS OF MY SOUL...THANK YOU !!!
MAY GOD BLESS EACH ONE OF YOU BEYOND YOUR WILDEST DREAMS !!!
THIS IS WHAT CHRISTMAS IS ALL ABOUT!
MERRY MERRY CHRISTMAS !!!
Written and Posted by:
Elizabeth Nieves - Broker, REALTOR® -- The Elizabeth Nieves Realty Group @ Keller Williams (A Bilingual Real Estate Team serving Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill NC and surrounding areas.)
Visit our website at http://www.elizabethnieves.com