This morning I woke up to the news that my brothers house caught fire in the Detroit Shoreway.
Two years ago my brother bought a building in the Detroit Shoreway to revitilize. He and his wife fell in love with the neighborhood and decided that they would buy a building, rehab it, and open his art studio and live in the apartments above as they worked on the building.
Over the past two years my brother Matt made the forgotten building on Detroit Road beautiful again. The hardwood floors lost the years of dust and shone again. Their apartment after years of hard work and dedication turned into their home. They walked to restaurants in their neighborhood after a long day of construction and supported the community they chose to live in. Matt's beautiful art found a home in his new studio below their home in the Detroit Shoreway and Matt himself found a place to create works of art like nothing I've ever seen. They started their first year of marriage in the apartment on Detroit Road and recently found out they would be having their first child together, a boy. Life was beautiful.
Until this morning at 3:37 am.
At 3:37 am their life forever changed. Their dog Rue woke them up to go out. Like we all do with our furry friends when they wake us up in the middle of the night, they shushed her to go back to sleep. But Rue persisted and when Matt and his pregnant wife Christa woke up they saw smoke. When they opened their apartment door they saw more smoke. Quickly realizing they were in the midst of a fire they grabbed Rue, their clothes and raced outside. They called 911 and watched their house burn down.
Today my brother and sister in law lost everything but each other. They lost their clothes, their belongings, Matt's entire portfolio of art he has made since college, but most importantly they lost their home, the home they were going to raise their new family in.
My brother Matt is one of the best dudes I know and his wife Christa is one of the most nurturing women I know. They started dating when they were 13 and have been soulmates ever since. They are beyond fun to hang out with and together they are humble, thoughtful, and kind. When the Chef and I first moved back from NYC, I came back alone with the boy, while he finished up his 6 weeks notice. Yes, back then chefs actually gave real notice. I digress. At the time, even though Matt couldn't have been more than 19 years old he stepped in. He helped out with Catcher all the time. I never told him but he was my rock back then. I was so scared to be a mom and with the Chef in NYC it was so nice to be able to count on Matt. Eventually when the Chef moved back to Ohio, Matt's girlfriend (his now wife) became our babysitter. Early on they became a huge part of our family and a huge influence on our children. They are so important to our family and they need help.
Can you imagine losing every thing you have ever had? Imagine walking into one room in your house and imagine everything gone, then walk to the next room and do the same. Do it for all your rooms and I guarantee you will be in tears. Every picture, every memory, everything piece of home gone. Each time I think about what they lost in the fire I am heartbroken for them. They are such good people who believed in Cleveland and believed in the Detroit Shoreway so much they made it their home. The love the gave to the city is only a sliver of the love we can give to them.
I know that most of you don't know me or my brother Matt and his wife but I ask you to consider helping them out. Rebuilding a life is not easy. Rebuilding a life when you have a baby on the way is unimaginable. They gave their all to the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood and today they lost everything they had. A friend of theirs started a Go Fund Me page for them to help out with the monumental loss. If you can donate a little please do. If you can't please send them love and prayers and positivity. They need all the love and light they can get right now.
Tonight I go to bed grateful that my brother and sister in law are alive. I go to bed grateful that come February their baby will enter this world. And tonight I especially go to bed grateful for this girl:
Rue, the hero dog of the Detroit Shoreway