How the kindness of others changed our holidays and our ability to count our blessings.
A few Christmases ago, Ryan and I started on a new adventure of owning our own business which is why you are able to receive this city magazine each month. It was exciting and oh so scary. That first year was filled with many ups and downs as we worked to build the business. Often the challenges we faced seemed insurmountable. For those of you who have owned your own business, you know things rarely go as planned. Our savings shrank as our business continued to suck every penny out of us, we struggled. However, the miracles outweighed the struggles. We felt so blessed and could see good things every time a hard trial would fall upon us.
I remember that Thanksgiving we were heading to Las Vegas to be with Ryan’s family. I was chasing kids to and from school, cleaning house, preparing food and packing for our trip. I had just closed the garage door for probably the tenth time that day when I heard a big bang sound. It made me jump, it was so loud. I ran to the garage thinking that maybe the whole door had fallen, it had not. I pressed the garage door button and nothing happened. I tried to manually open the door and it wouldn’t budge. The spring on the garage door had broken. This meant we would need a whole new door. This was definitely not in the budget. The door could not open even if ten super strong men came and tried to lift together. The problem was, my suburban and Ryan’s car were in the garage. We were leaving for Las Vegas the next day and honestly it was a stretch to even pay for the gas to get there. I still had to pick up my kids from school but we were stranded. Oh, and it was eight degrees outside. Do you remember that super cold year when most days averaged 18 degrees, yeah that was the year.
We got our kids home with help from friends and we all set to work emptying our third car garage, thankfully we had that third door. We figured if we were able to empty the third garage, then we could inch our cars out somehow. Neighbors stopped and asked if we were sprucing up the garage on that frigid day. We told each of them what had happened and kept working.
It was so cold. After everything was out we started the process of backing up and moving forward until Ryan’s car was out, think a 300 point turn. Then came my suburban. Let’s just say that 30-40 minutes later we had it out. We did it. We had our cars again. We figured we would simply park the cars outside until we could afford to have the garage repaired, which was great. We could do this, it was all part of the entrepreneurial experience, right?
Though parking outside is not a big deal, in truth it was hard when you added it to all the other things that seemed to be going wrong. Things felt heavy and hard. The next day we were with family, we made it to Las Vegas. Ryan got a text from a friend asking us how he could get into our house. Eventually he told us that someone (who wanted to remain unnamed) wanted to fix our garage. WHAT?!!!! Our minds were blown away. We were speechless. We both cried. Such a humbling time in our life. We felt so loved and grateful to whoever was showing us so much kindness. The day after we got home a truck with a new garage door was outside waiting for us. The garage repairman said it was paid in full by an unnamed neighbor and even he was blown away. A Christmas Miracle.
During that same time frame, weeks after the garage incident, we came home to a really cold house. Our furnace had died. We had space heaters and lots of blankets to keep the kids warm in their rooms that night but it would be cold. We called a friend and he was right over. To understand this friend you have to know that he is the busiest guy of all time. He dropped what he was doing and came to our rescue. He helped us get a new furnace in our home the same day, and told us he would only charge us for parts and to pay him when we could. Ryan and I cried later thinking of his generosity. Another Christmas Miracle.
Ryan and I put all of our savings into our new business and despite these miracles, we were tight. We had a couple hundred dollars saved for Christmas but it wasn’t going to be a lot, especially with five kids. We prepared our kids for this and it was going to be okay. One day I went to the mailbox and pulled out an envelope, which turned out to be full of cash. No name on the envelope, it was just addressed to us. Postage marked from Salt Lake (who do we know in Salt Lake City?). I showed Ryan and we cried, again. Another Christmas Miracle.
I will forever be grateful for whoever served us that CRAZY year and hope that we as a family can do the same for our neighbors and friends. This Christmas season look around and see those that might need buoying up. Those who might need a Christmas miracle and be their angels we definitely. We have had some in our lives. We hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.