Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Opinion

July 12, 2012

Hardock family: After the fire, our heartfelt letter of thanks

To our family, friends, the entire Andover community and beyond, we don't know where to begin. Has it really been four weeks?

As many of you know, our peaceful lives turned upside down recently after we lost our home to a massive fire. It has been a surreal time. Thankfully our family is safe, which is absolutely the most important part of this whole experience. We are trying to keep all of the "what ifs" out of our minds.

We have to begin with a special thanks to the first responders who came to our home on June 14. To the firefighters and the police of Andover and our surrounding towns, we cannot thank you enough for your heroic efforts to keep our family safe and for trying to limit the level of damage to our home.

With regard to the Andover community in general, and the Sanborn Elementary and West Middle School communities in particular, a heartfelt thank you for all of your generous donations of time, money and meals.

Never in a million years did we think we would be on the receiving end of so many bake sales, candy sales, lemonade stands, and walk-a-thons. You should all be so proud of your children, as they possess a generosity of spirit that is truly amazing.

While we are devastated that the experience of a house fire will be etched as one of our children's biggest childhood memories, we are consoled by the fact that these incredible acts of kindness will likely be a much more vivid memory. It has been so important for them to see all of the goodness in the world in the middle of such a frightening time of uncertainty.

The compassion and generosity that has been shown to us started while the fire was still burning and continues each day. It has been overwhelming. Friends brought us toothbrushes and clothing that night when we hadn't even processed the fact that we didn't have ours anymore, while others went on a mission to get our twin daughters back-up costumes for their big dance show, because at that point in time, we didn't even know what day it was.

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