The wildfires that took so much from the people of Fort Mac did not win. “The beast,” as it has become known, has shown the nation what Canada is made of: human beings full of compassion, kindness, and a generosity that touched everyone, evacuees and benefactors alike.

We were so very fortunate throughout the ordeal. People were exceedingly kind. But one person gave more than I could ever imagine anyone would. During our stay at Sylvan Lake my son showed me a posting on Facebook one morning – a family was giving away two vehicles. “If that’s for real those vehicles will be long gone,” I told him. However, at the urging of both my son and husband I decided to write an email, as the posting instructed. The post said that a recipient would be chosen after all emails had been read.

The next morning I was shocked to read April’s response to my email: “I have read a lot of emails, but something about yours spoke to me and I want to offer you my P.T. Cruiser”.  I was stunned. I could not speak. I motioned my husband over, waving at the laptop on the table.  When my son entered the room he thought something was wrong. I was standing there with my hand over my mouth and tears in my eyes. Once again I gestured toward the computer, even as my husband tried to explain my behavior. It took several emails and many text messages between April and I before the reality began to sink in, and even while I write this I find it hard to believe. Yet it is true – a perfect stranger gifted us with a car!

How do you say thank you for such a generous gift? How can I ever find words to express my gratitude? I have thanked April profusely but no words seem to be enough. I know I will spend the rest of my life doing my best to pay forward all the kindnesses granted me by so many people. And especially an Angel named April.


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