Rich is one of the most driven and ambitious people I know. He has worked hard his entire life to achieve all that he has...all that he had.
He had a beautiful home that he and Melanie designed together, and put their own blood, sweat, and tears into. He had an amazing garage full of tools and equipment. In that garage was an old school VW van painted blue with flowers, for he and his Flower (Melanie), and a truck that Rich was rebuilding from the ground up. He was excited to get it finished and take her for a spin. It was cherry red. Painted by none other than himself.
He never got to experience the joy of taking that sweet ride.
He never will.
That truck, VW van, garage, house...it is all gone. Lost to a horrendous fire. The van is now sitting on top of a scrap pile. The scrap from the fire paid enough to have a construction dumpster brought out. The remnants of the house are being piled in that construction dumpster.
He lost everything that he and Melanie had worked for their entire lives.
They lost it in less than 10 minutes.
What they haven't lost is their hope. Their drive. Their ambition or THEIR LIVES.
They were fortunate enough to all make it out alive, as well as two of their dogs. But that is all that made it out. However, Abby, a beloved pet, did not make it out. She is resting peacefully on Wood-B-Ranch.
I have watched and listened to Rich and Melanie very closely through all of this. I have learned more about them during this tragedy than I have during the last seven years. I know that they will be okay. They will come out of this stronger and even more driven than before. And their home will be just as amazing, if not more so.
I have also bore witness to true love. An undying love. Because even after all of this they still love each other more than anything in the world. They are all they have in this world right now. They don't lay blame. They aren't fighting. They are there for each other. Concerned for each other. And loving each other.
And I still see that drive in his eyes. That ambition that got him to where he was...will get him back there again. I see sadness. I see a man overwhelmed and so very tired. But most of all I see a man that will move heaven and earth to rebuild THEIR home.
But rebuilding will take money and it will take all of us. And they had no homeowners insurance. So if you have a little extra to spare...please donate here at their gofundme account. Anything helps. Just knowing and sharing their story helps.