Saturday night we had a bit of a fire at our house. Our coffee table caught on fire from a candle. It was caught in time and we got very lucky. When my husband came downstairs the flames were about 4 foot high. The couch & the rug were scorched and all the stuff on the table was ruined. That included my beloved camera and a brand new lens. I was not home and when my husband called me to break the news I was of course very relieved everyone was safe but so very sad about my camera.
Then the panic set in. That camera is slowly becoming a new source of income for us. I recently participated in a wedding fair and I have MANY weddings booked this season as well as my typical sessions with families and children. I also recently became involved with National Rock Review and I am shooting shows for them as well. I NEED my camera!
We do, of course, have homeowners insurance but there is a hefty deductible. With my husband's illness, it would be a hardship to come up with $1000 for the deductible but was totally necessary considering the situation. Had it been anything but the camera we would've likely done without. I would happily sit on the floor or in lawn chairs, but I needed that dang camera! I spent most of Sunday in tears. The camera was sitting on the dining room table and every time I would walk by it I would start again. It was just so terribly sad to see it there all melty and burnt.
One of my dear momma's from BeTA - Beyond Trauma and Attachment took it upon herself to set up a "Go Fund Me" account for me to try to help come up with the deductible. It was late Sunday night when it went up and by the morning we were already at 20%. Then miracles began to happen!
To be completely honest I was a bit overwhelmed that people were giving me money. I felt a HUGE sense of thankfulness, but also a bit of shame that I would be in this position. I had several friends throughout the day encourage me that they wanted to help and that I should not feel that way at all. I was told over and over that I had given so much to others and that I should sit back and accept this. I began getting notifications on Facebook that we were climbing to 40%, then 50% then more. By 2:00pm Monday were we fully funded and money was still coming in. The link to the Go Fund Me had been shared over a hundred times and people that I did not even know were contributing. It was AMAZING.
Through out the afternoon I continued to get wonderfully kind messages from friends telling me that they were happy to help and pleased they could contribute. By the time I went to bed last night it was 140% funded and I had changed my profile picture to that melty camera. It went from a photo of something that was AWFUL to a photo of HOPE. It went from a sight that made me cry to a BEACON of all that is GOOD in my world. I no longer see it is UGLY. I have an amazing support system and I am reminded that given the chance people are GOOD. My loved ones and STRANGERS did something together that affected me so profoundly I will not be the same.
I could never express my gratitude.
I will pay this forward when I am able.
I will forever be touched by the kindness shown to me and my family.
I have decided that this fire will be the turning point in my year. I will not let the ugliness of "what if" affect me but revel in the fact that things were not so much worse. I will see this as a CLEANSING fire and I will rise from it stronger, more determined and much more able to feel loved. I am not alone.
13 hours ago