Anna & Eric...

I have thought long and hard as to whether I should write about this or not...

Some of you know that my friend Anna and her husband Eric suffered a terrible tragedy a week ago as their house with their two dogs (Airedale Terriers) perished in a terrific, terrible and tragic house fire. They currently have nothing but the clothes on their backs. Everything was lost. Everything.

I met Anna about 5 years ago when she taught at my children's school. She was the music teacher and all the children simply adored her. There was an energy and spark to her that very few have. Anna is lovely and delightful and to know her is to love her. A couple of years ago she made the decision to switch careers. Her husband had lost his job on Wall Street due to the crumbling economy and she had health issues and they had no insurance. She decided to take on some part time jobs in the medical profession so she could get certified as an EMT, get the health insurance they so needed and be better able to help people.

These past few years have been tough with money tight and an uncertain future. They started to get behind in their bills and mortgage and without a short-sell the house would have to go into foreclosure. Finally a little bit of luck was on their side and they found a buyer for their charming house and they started packing up all their belongings to move to Arizona where they have friends and family. All was set to take place on the 23rd of this month.

Anna flew out to Arizona to try to secure jobs and a place to live.

And then she got the phone call from her husband that would forever alter their lives.

Their house, he told her, was ablaze. The dogs had perished.

How much more can two people take? Seriously? That whole bit about God dealing only what you can handle is a bunch of crap, really it is because no one should ever have to endure anything like this.

The fire destroyed the house in a matter of 20 minutes. Eric had gone out to get the oil changed in their car.

When he got back all that he had left in his life, save for his wife Anna, was gone, in a flash.

As soon as I saw Anna's facebook post I knew I had to act and do something. I called my friends and sent messages via facebook and email. I started rallying people to help out by donating clothes, food, money, gift cards... anything they possibly could. People started offering up homes and services. The support has been awesome and overwhelming and Anna and Eric are truly touched, as am I. I stop by as often as I can and have brought meals and gift cards. I cannot do much more but it is the very least I can do. I have friends calling me with names of legal counsel and fire inspectors... people who don't know them are stopping by with money.

Yesterday I went over to visit Anna and Eric in the evening. I spoke with Eric who expressed him amazement at the support of their friends and the community. We had a long chat. I was touched to the core when he told me that he didn't understand how when they thought that they had hit rock bottom, a trap door could suddenly open up beneath them and swallow them up even deeper... and yet, in the same sentence he went on to tell me that despite this tragedy they realize that they still have more than others do... It takes such a big hearted and amazing person to think that way. I'm not sure that I could. And Anna said to me yesterday she was so grateful that they were still in the house when it caught fire as opposed to the new family... "Imagine," she said, "what would have happened if there had been two young babies in that house?" How can one stay so strong in the face of such adversity to still think about others?

Their constant faith in life and in God has me in awe.

The road ahead is long and bumpy. They have bills to pay, and if the sale does not go through (the buyers might want to wait it out and move into a new home) they will surely face foreclosure and insurmountable debt. They are looking for a strong legal team and a good fire inspector that can help determine the cause of the fire. (The house passed inspection for the impending sale just days prior.) The insurance company wants to put the blame on them and is not being kind.

I am sharing their story for two reason. Anna believes in the power of prayer and would love if you all would say a prayer for them, and also to ask, if you would like to make any kind of donation --whether cash or gift card, to get in touch with me via email and I will tell you where to direct your generous gifts.

I am attaching the article that came out in a local paper. Please have your tissues handy... especially when you click on the pictures...