It was only two nights ago that Melissa texted me. We were discussing blog goals for the year, talking about our personal anxieties about doing more live video, and sharing creative ideas that we thought would be fun for the blog. You see, that is what Melissa and I always do. We share ideas back and forth all day long amidst homework, piles of laundry, cooking dinner, and doing the dishes. Blogging has been a huge blessing to us because it has allowed us to stay close through day to day conversations even though we are thousands of miles apart. I had settled down for the night and was watching a show with Paul and as we shuffled off to bed I noticed another message from Melissa, except it wasn’t from Melissa, it was from Benji. Thinking it was a continuation of our previous conversation I was shocked to realize it was nothing at all like our normal dialogue.
“We’re all okay.
But this is how my evening has gone.”
I then saw a picture of her beautiful house burning to the ground.
I was in complete shock.
“Oh my gosh!
Is that your house?”
Yes, its our house,
We lost everything
Both cars, wallets, everything.
We literally just have the clothes that we are wearing.”
My heart sunk to my stomach. To imagine what those moments must have been like to rush through the house to find your precious babies and run outside to safety in the -20 degree weather of North Pole, Alaska and watch the world around you burn down. Melissa has gotten really good at getting rid of all the extra “stuff” as they just moved to Alaska last year and packed only the most precious things that surrounded her life. With that being said I know there have been moments of pure heart ache over cherished photographs, momentos, family heirlooms, and even their family pet. Her children were so heartbroken to say goodbye to their pet lizard that traveled with them from Utah and their new Christmas gifts. As a mother I know that was probably her biggest heart ache of all was watching her children experience such sorrow.
Melissa is my best friend. We are cousins born less than a month apart and we have been close our whole lives. If there is one thing that I have admired her for it is that she invests her whole self into the people she loves. She is a fiercely loyal wife, a constant friend, and the most incredible mother a child could ask for. What drives her passion for life is creating moments with those around her. That is why I know that in that moment of watching her home burn to the ground she wasn’t lost in despair because she had what she holds most dear right there with her.
We messaged back and forth for a while that night in total shock. I wished more than anything I could wrap her in my arms and have a good cry. Welcome her into my home and give her everything she could possibly need. But I couldn’t. We are thousands of miles apart. She slept the night at the next door neighbors house and is now in a hotel trying to figure out the next steps and what tomorrow might look like. This is an update we have gotten from her so far.
“This has been an overwhelming day. I never knew my heart could be so broken and so full at the same time. We are so incredibly grateful that we are all safe and we have been so moved by all the outpouring of love and support from family and friends. So here we stand holding every single thing we own in this world and we are happy. We feel so blessed and loved and we are truly grateful.”
I’ve been hesitant to share this post because this is her story and this is her blog too. I want her to share it when she is ready and has processed the events that have transpired. As I thought about this I also realized I needed to share this story now because as our readers you would want to know. You may want to know what you can do to help her or send her words of encouragement.
There has been a GoFundMe account that has been set up to help support Melissa and her family with getting their life back together. I know she would be so grateful for any assistance you could provide in helping them get back on their feet.
You can do so here: GO FUND ME FOR THE HADFIELD FAMILY.
I want to thank you from both of us for supporting us through reading our blog. We love what we do and we love sharing our own “Mommy Style” with you. It really is such a blessing that has allowed us to stay close and we genuinely love sharing our ideas with you.