Three years ago today a five alarm fire destroyed the Galleria Apartments in Fargo. My sons lived in that apartment building in apartment 316. They lost their pets and everything they owned. In total, the fire displaced about 150 residents. It was a truly horrific event to watch. Three years later I still remember it vividly.
It was a very trying time for the residents that lived in the Galleria, but it was made easier by the folks who stepped up to help them – individuals, businesses, and organizations – all who extended their hands and their hearts to those who lost their homes, belongings, and pets in that fire. But the biggest gift of all came from the Shepherd of the Prairie Moravian Church – the little church that committed itself to the monumental task of donation management. They gave their time, their church, and their care to the Galleria residents without a moment of hesitation. It was the greatest of efforts done by the purest of hearts. They will forever remain dear to me.
I still talk about the fire on rare occasion, mostly I use it as an example of what a great and caring community we live in. That is really what sticks with me the most these days – beyond the loss of beloved pets and the boys’ things – it is the enduring gratitude that I feel as a mother for the kindnesses shown to my sons.
On this somber anniversary each year I take the time to remember the humanity that this community showed in the face of the Galleria residents’ tragedy. I remember the kind souls who stepped in to help and who I will be forever indebted to. And I remember the Galleria family that have since scattered to the wind, but who still share the bonds that were forged in that trying time in October 2010. We have moved on, but we have not forgotten.
Day one thousand one hundred and ninety-six of the new forty – obla di obla da