In January, my home suffered extensive fire damage. I have learned many things through this experience, but one of the most important is that there are no small gestures or little kindnesses. The outpouring — from expressions of sympathy, to the gifts of clothing, cards, cash and offers of shelter — has served to water the garden of my heart and soul, and that of my children, where the well had run dry.
I thank each of the professionals who were part of extinguishing the fire and the support team around them. Also, I want to recognize others who offered gestures of kindness, from the use of the coat of the police officer first on the scene, to neighbors who stood outside in the cold, sometimes at a distance, but always supportive. Also, the neighbor who offered help and has followed through and my older children and their spouses.
In this day when there is so much cynicism, especially about authorities, I applaud and salute all of the police officers and fire personnel who not only did their jobs, but did them with compassion, thoughtfulness and kindness. They went above and beyond.