Wednesday, March 21

Nothing but thank you

This is an email we received from a member of the team that helped us clean the mud out of our house. They stayed with us for several hours and gave us lunch. We have no words to express how thankful we are for this team of volunteers. Volunteers people! We both tear up at the mere mention of the RFS now.
It's really hard, new and overwhelming being on the receiving end of charity. We've been inundated by support from our friends. People traveling down to help us scrub walls, people sending us cards and vouchers. Having to take feels strange and having nothing to offer back except thank you and a promise of a celebration when we have our home again.
It's weird being in a neighborhood that's been stripped. House after house stands empty, doors and windows open to let any dry air in, no lights on at night, no traffic, no people sounds - just frogs and mosquitoes. But whilst we are in this lonely place we don't feel alone. We feel comforted in our sadness - our shiny fledgling life that was just becoming familiar and stopped so suddenly, at least we have our friends and family and neighbors. We are so sad but so grateful. We are saying thank you thank you but we are speechless.
The email:

Hi Tim and Sophie,

I recognize the young couple on the front of the Advertiser.

They are the young people whose house I walked into on Sunday morning and thought you could do with a hand.

You might get emotional about the help you received but my tanker crew were really happy to help. Remember we train to help and it is a gift we give freely.
To me Sunday was a special day in my volunteer emergency services life (24 years). It was very rewarding and very Australian. A lot of the time we go to incidents which we can't control. Just clean up the mess and go on. Occasionally we win and Sunday was a win, we supported  5 families to varying degrees helping them on their new path.

What made us happy in part was your  self help/resilience, the neighbors helping each other and the friendliness with which you let us into your lives.

If you two need to talk to someone at any stage, then do so. There will be up and downs and you will learn more but each other and yourselves. This is the normal stress from an abnormal situation.

To quote John Done: "No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main".

I understand you feel you can't thank us enough but you will thank us by rebuilding your home and living a good and fruitful life. That is thanks enough.


  1. What a beautiful email...


  2. Oh honey!

    I'm welling up over my cereal bowl.. what a lovely email. And indeed, what amazing spirit you and Tim have as you work to get through this. My heart breaks I can't be there to help. Sending all my love, as ever and always. xxx

  3. The writer of your email, is one cool and wise person! Thanks for sharing this unexpected event in your life with such grace, all the best to you and yours, Pippa. :)

  4. oh wow Sophie, I cannot think of any words that do justice. Such an amazing thing to live through. Such beautiful people. Love xx

  5. What a wonderful email, clearly you are dealing with this with grace and a great attitude to have someone take the time to send you an email like that. I'm glad there is support around you. Hope the clean up goes as smoothly and quickly as it can. Good luck with dealing with insurance and so forth. xx

  6. That there are people like this good soul in the world makes me joyful every single day. Joyful and teary. x

  7. Sophie,

    Completely awesome!!

    I'm doing a talk on charity tomorrow and would love to refer to this interaction... I have a pretty cool quote that this makes me think of:

    "Friendship in the Greek tradition, in the Roman tradition, in the old tradition, was always viewed as the highest point which virtue can reach. Virtue, meaning here, "the habitual facility of doing the good thing," which is fostered by what the Greeks called politaea, political life, community life… They conceived of friendship as a supreme flowering, of the interaction which happens in a good political society."
    Ivan Illich

    Thanks for sharing this,
    XX - In friendship :)

  8. Beautiful... Im sobbing... Thank you for sharing this :-)

  9. Tears well up every time I think of them

  10. I heard somewhere that it's not about the hand you are dealt, but how you deal with it that matters... sounds like you guys are doing a stirling job & it's very refreshing to hear about to RFS and the spirit of helping one's neighbour coming into it's own.

    Thinking of you every day..


  11. So teary reading that. Now that's inspiring. Wow.


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