Dear CSP Readers,
Charlotte Smarty Pants previously wrote about my family’s story, and the CSP team has graciously allowed me the space to thank the masses and update you all.
On January 13th, our family experienced a devastating house fire. Our family of five and the family dog (Homer) were all safe, but we were left with the clothes on our back and a few other possessions. Of those were digital pictures that were restored (thank you, Jason Dumas), our home videos (thank you to my father-in-law for taking them and putting them on DVDs to surprise me), our silver, and to all of us moms who value our sleep … my kids lovies (they happened to be the in dryer due to an unfortunate potty incident the evening before)!!!
We are almost two months out, but I am able to replay that morning like a movie in my mind. Running back into my neighborhood (convinced that the fire is a neighbor’s home, not my own), I was just praying for the safety of anyone in the home. Sure enough, prayers answered since it was my home and we were all out.
During the course of that day and the weeks to follow, we were inundated with notes of encouraging words, gift cards to get us through the replacement of immediate items, meals prepared for us since I couldn’t even begin to think about planning a meal … the outpouring of love was completely overwhelming.
After the chaos started to settle down and I looked at this collection of donated items, the guilt started to settle in. Why did this story get this kind of response? How did this many people even know about our house fire?
I really think most of the news spread through people who had prayer groups and said, “Please pray for my friend, sister-in-law, neighbor.” Prayers were indeed what we needed (and need) … peace of mind that we were safe, and patience for the process we were about to face. Later on the quote above popped in my mind, and I think people asked themselves, “What would I need in this situation?” We were loved by so many of you as your neighbor, even though I had never met most of you.
Looking back on the moments of this day, and the weeks following, we are able to clearly see why we live in Charlotte … we are a community. So many people in this city are not from here, so we have no family. We quickly learn to rely on one another as family. My playgroup, church, and school moms … we work together to keep our sanity.
I always knew I loved Charlotte and our neighborhood, but our house fire has opened my eyes to how special our community really is. My family and I appreciate every note, every gift card, every meal made, and every donated item. We are even more appreciative because all of this has happened during a horrible economic time for our city and country.
I hope that this event has touched your lives as much as it has ours. We have learned that we do need to take the motto of ‘Love your neighbor’ to heart, and to act on it.
Thank you again for your support and love.
The Kiser Family
Steve, Megan, Rachel, Jacob, Rebecca & Homer
Love your neighbor as yourself. ~Jesus