My dad wrote a blog post 36 hours after the apartment fire last year.
I go back and read it often.
Especially on days in which I'm tempted to take the pen back and write my own story.
Here's what he wrote:
Minda is our middle child. She’s 28 years old, but still,…our middle child.
The fact that she is a middle child is probably worth a blog post in itself; or so she would suggest.
But I’ll save that for another time.
If Minda was writing her own life story, it’s safe to say that she would probably be married and a mother of at LEAST 3 kids by now, if not more. And there would not be a woman more suited for that role; happily in her own house while her husband was off at work providing for their growing family. I have no doubt that if you popped in on her at home on any given day, you would be greeted with her radiant smile with a baby on her hip in one arm and probably a phone in her other hand offering some encouraging advice to one of her many, many friends.
Of course, you don’t even have to fall under the category of ‘friends’ for her to offer her time or lend an ear to you. That’s just Minda.
After being invited in, you would undoubtedly be greeted with the aroma of something….anything…being cooked up in her kitchen. And I can also say with certainty, there would be any number of craft projects in various stages out on a dining room table, or on the floor where she would have been working with one of her kids. Worship music would be playing in the background on some device and when you took in your immediate surroundings, you would think you had stepped in to some picturesque storybook depicting the idealistic, all-American family. I might add that you probably wouldn’t want to leave. Ever.
But Minda is not writing her own life story. She forfeited her right to do that years ago when she committed her heart to following Jesus. She is a woman of faith, and one of the strongest, most committed believers I know, personally.
She will be the first to tell you that she has an unwavering trust that her creator would do a much better job of writing her life story and has allowed Him to do that these past 28 years. And it’s safe to say, again, that some of those chapters have been difficult ones. When God is given permission to direct your steps and guide your life, you don’t have the luxury of flipping to the back of the book because you are too impatient to read through…wanting to know how it ends before you even get half way done. Our youngest daughter, Caralyn, is notorious for doing that.
This past week, Minda faced what has probably been one of her most difficult chapters thus far in her young 28 years.
Due to scheduling limitations with work and travel, she spent her first Thanksgiving by herself there in Tallahassee, FL. It just didn’t work out for her to come home for just a few days as she had a scheduled business trip to Washington DC this week for her work’s big annual conference. So instead of sitting at home feeling sorry for herself Thanksgiving morning, she got up and went to run in some local ‘Turkey Trot’ race. Then cleaned up and went and helped serve dinner in a nearby homeless shelter.
That’s just Minda.
She flew out later that weekend to join her ‘team’ up in our nation’s capital for what was slated to be an intensive and busy week for her. Minda, if you didn’t know, works for the Excellence in Education, a foundation set up by Gov. Jeb Bush and she is their social media director.
So Tuesday morning, I was awakened by a phone call from her around 5AM our time here in Texas. She had just been awakened by a phone call from the police department in Tallahassee and they were quite relieved to hear her answer her phone. They then proceeded to tell her that her apt back home was fully engulfed in flames. Need I say, that is not the way you want to start out one of the busiest weeks of your life when you are 1500 miles away from home.
It has been only about 36 hours since this drama has unfolded. And feeling about as helpless as any parent can feel, Kathy and I have only stood on the distant sidelines and watched with gut wrenching emotions as the reality of all this has sunk in.
I could literally write page upon page of what we have witnessed in the past 36 hours testifying to the grace we have seen poured out on our middle child. And I know she will do that at a later time on her own blog. But just to mention a few things that have struck me personally and move me to tears everytime I think of it –
-one of the first things we all gasped at when pondering the potential loss was all her personal journals and diaries that she has kept for years. Yesterday, around lunch, she was sent a text message along with a photo of her Rubbermaid container that had all of her writings, fully entact. Very little else survived the fire.
-the outpouring of support, emotional, prayer, financial, etc from friends all across the country has just overwhelmed her. One friend back here in Dallas set up an online donation center where people from all over are pouring in to it. It is humbling to see the response, and even more humbling to read the comments that people are leaving her. You can visit that site here: PAY IT FORWARD SITE
Minda was already planning to relocate to DC later in January. Needless to say, there’s one thing on her ‘to do’ list that can be scratched off as her plans to move remain unchanged.
With 2013 just weeks away, Minda will have a whole new perspective on getting a ‘fresh start’ in a new year. But if anyone was suited to take on the challenge, it’s my middle daughter.
I so wish that I could do more for her right now. But I have no doubt her Heavenly Father can, and is, and will continue to do as He has always done for her. I know it’s hard to believe I’m not impartial when I say this, but Minda Corso has a remarkable story that would inspire anyone. She has a gift…to touch people. And I have never been more reminded of that as I have this past day and a half. I just never would have seen years ago…this journey …this path…this story she would be living out before our eyes. But then…I’m not the one writing her life story either.
The picture above was taken about 3 or 4 years ago when her and I went to our first Dallas Cowboy Football game on Thanksgiving. (She’s a big Cowboy fan…and might I add, that beloved jersey you see her wearing in the photo- it survived the fire. Go figure.)
One last thing I need to share here- yesterday, well in to the afternoon, as she was trying to maintain her thoughts and emotions, staying fixed on the task at hand, yet struggling internally with all she was facing…a staff member who had no idea of what had transpired passed her in a hall of some sorts and commented on her countenance. He said something to the effect that: ”You should win an award for the person with the best mood today!” Minda’s comment to us regarding that was: “apparently everyone’s prayers for peace are working”