Our Father's Day was one we will never forget. It was a VERY hard day for Daniel and myself. We miss Hadley so much and a day like father's day and mother's day can't help but bring up more emotions. I have been working on Daniel's present for quite sometime and I'm so excited to be able to now share with you what Briley and I gave him...
I knew for this Father's Day I wanted to do something special and memorable for Daniel. It all started when my dear and very special friend Tracy emailed me this picture around the end of April for Hadley's name gallery...
Yes, it says HADLEY Fire Dept.!! I was so excited when she sent this to me. We immediately talked about where it was located (Massachusetts) and I knew that I needed to somehow contact them.
Part of being a fireman is that you are in a brotherhood. It doesn't matter what fire department you are a part of...you are immediately in a special family (wives and children included). One thing a lot of fireman like to do is swap shirts with other firemen. Daniel has been lucky enough to get shirts from different places and they are really special to him...he even took one of his fire departement shirts on our honeymoon and we shared a taxi with another honeymoon couple and the husband was of course a fireman and they swapped shirts!! So, it was pretty easy for me to realize that I HAD to get a shirt from Hadley FD.
I started doing my research online and was able to get a hold of someone. I told him a little of our story and he said he would leave a message for his captain to call me back. The next day, I had a voice-mail from their Captain (not going to share his name for the sake of his privacy) and we talked for probably 20 minutes. I told him about our family and what we had gone through in the past 5 months. I told him a lot about Daniel and what an awesome son, dad, and fireman he was, and how I really wanted to make his father's day special and if he would mind sending a shirt to him with their department name on it. He said that he didn't think this would be a problem at all and we exchanged email addresses to keep in contact about the shirt. I thanked him over and over again and I was so excited to be able to present this to Daniel on father's day.
A couple of weeks later, I received another call from the Captain. He said that he would definitely be able to get a shirt sent to Daniel and he also wanted to know what color shirts Briley and I wanted. I couldn't believe they wanted to do this for our family and I offered to send money several times and I was always turned down. He said that he talked to his union and they not only wanted to send shirts for Daniel, myself, and Briley, but also wanted to send a check from their union in honor of Hadley and Daniel's Mom to go to the charity of our choice. I couldn't believe that firemen in another city, miles and miles away from us were thinking about our Hadley and Daniel's Mom. It was such a God thing that we were brought together. I thanked him once again and he reassured me that the package would make it to our home before father's day.
It did of course!! I hid it from Daniel and I was literally bursting to give it to him!! But, I knew I had to wait until father's day, there couldn't be a more perfect day to give it to him.
Sunday morning, I woke up Briley (still exhausted from party fun the previous day!!) and then we woke up Daniel so he could open his presents before we headed to church. I'm not going to share the pictures of Daniel opening the gift because it was a very special moment for us and I want to keep it between our family...but I will share with you what was inside!!
The first box he opened had this inside...
I framed the picture that Tracy found online...he was pretty surprised to see that there was a Hadley FD!! I told him to open the other box now but to read the letter on top first.
I want to share with you what the letter said...
Dear Daniel, Melissa and Briley,
The Hadley Fireman's Association would like to extend our deepest sympathy for the loss of your Mother and also your precious Hadley. When we were first contacted by Melissa in regards to getting a Hadley Fire Department shirts for Father's Day it really touched all of us here on the department and it is our hope that this small token will provide some comfort and joy to you all. The Fireman's Association also voted to donate the enclosed amount to a charity of your choice in memory of Daniel's Mother and Hadley. Enclosed please find a check made out to your family. Please fill in the "in care of" with the charity of your choice. Daniel, from your brother's and sister's in service at the Hadley Fire Department we wish you a Happy Father's Day and we are proud to have your wear our department name and we are honored that your family contacted us for such a request and to share in the celebration of Hadley. If your family should ever make a trip to this neck of the woods, please feel free to stop in or contact us as we would love to meet all of you.
Sincerely, Hadley FD
Isn't that an amazing letter? I can't believe how much time and effort they put in on behalf of our family.
Once he read the letter I directed him to open the rest of the box and here is what was inside...
The shirts they sent us. I love that mine and B's are pink!!!
Close up of our shirts!!
A Hadley FD Patch
They also sent a few things for Briley...really sweet!!
We can't thank the Hadley Fire Dept. enough for what they did for our family. I know we will treasure the letter, shirts, and other gifts forever. Thank you also to my friend Tracy who was the one who searched and found Hadley FD to begin with!! I am so grateful to her.
It was definitely a Father's Day to remember and a wonderful way to honor our sweet Hadley!!
In Christ's Love,