Many of you may know Marsha Weaver, because she makes the famous weaver cozies for our little ones. Marsha is a dear friend to all of us and I was so sad to learn of the tragedy that hit her family in April this year. Her house was flattened by a vicious tornado that not only ruined her home but took the lives of a few of her very precious piggies and ratties.
When something this devastating happens, I am just lost for words...so I tried to do something for her that will bring even the slightest smile to her face... You are so strong, Marsha, thank you for making a difference in the lives of so many piggies worldwide *HUG*
Natasha - 9 year old sow
Rosa - the beauty
My Shirley posing with beautiful Rosa
Sherman - a gentleman
Snoopy thinks Sherman is drool-worthy!
"he is gorrgeeeaass! "
Wesley - a very brave boy
Mr. Peabody and Dudley
another pair of Weaver's boys, who passed a few months earlier
"I have the same colors as Dudley!"
Thinking of you, Marsha
Message from Marsha
The day for me and my family stated out as a normal spring day. By that I mean the weather was warm, overcast, muggy and dreary. It was supposed to rain off and on throughout the day. There was a chance of severe weather in the afternoon and evening hours. This was for all accounts a normal Alabama weather day in the spring. My self and family have lived most of our lives in the south and weather was just part of the routine.
What we would later know was that this was not routine and ended up being the second worst tornado outbreak in US history. When the calculations were over we would learn it included 349 tornadoes in 21 states, 15 "violent tornadoes", including four rated EF5, 321 killed, 2775 injured, Total damage: $11 billion. Total tornadoes path length: over 3200 miles (Greatest of any outbreak!). When you hear this your mind would say “wow” or “oh my goodness”. These thoughts and mental images are not even close to the actual events.
Our family was at home along with our pets and many fur critters. The situation changed to extreme very quickly. We sheltered in our hallway, huddled together and prayed. Our house was hit by one of the EF5 tornadoes and was completely gone, ripped apart down to the foundation. We lost all of our personal belongings, our daughter and family dog was very badly injured and both required critical emergency treatment. Everything for miles was like a bomb had exploded and we could not get out, nor could help get to us for many hours. We were stranded, exposed, injured, in a state of shock, and in utter despair. Don’t get me wrong we were so grateful to be alive, together and glad our situation was not worse.
At the time of the natural disaster, we operated a home business “The Cozy Cavy”, which made small animal beds for guinea pigs that helped us take care of our own rescued animals. We were also involved in several forums to help promote rescue and adoption. We had 10 guinea pigs many of which were elderly or had medical issues, we had 15 personal rescued rats and we were fostering 3 more to try and help them find homes. All of this was destroyed. Through volunteers and local efforts we did have a few animal survivors that were later found in the debris.
A young lady, who knew us through our business, wrote a story for her local newspaper in Kansas, Missouri. The story spread through the online guinea pig community worldwide, and people had come together to offer support and help. We were really taken aback. These were not our friends that we hung out with, or members of our local community. They were not coworkers or people we went to school or church with. These were people from around the world who took the time to care for someone else that they had not even met in person or communicated with at all. A few of these individuals were familiar to us as customers or interacted with in the forums and Facebook, but most of them were complete strangers.
There were a couple people that really stood out to us. One of these individuals was Serena Yue. She had been a customer, and we were surprised by a package from this young lady. When we opened it up, our hearts melted and was flooded with emotions. She had sent us a gift of love. Some may think it was a simple gesture; and to her I am sure that it was just her way of showing us she was thinking about us. To her it might have been simple and a small token of thoughtfulness and compassion. What she sent to us was enormous and not simple at all.
Serena had drawn images for our guinea pigs from the pictures we and others had shared over time. They were snap shots of the animals playing, eating, sleeping, just normal everyday things. Serena had taken the pictures and poured love from her heart and soul into them and then using her artistry had placed her kindness, thoughtfulness, and compassion to our family on canvas. We experienced one of the most wonderful feelings when seeing the images. In the sorrowful emptiness and saddening despair of the loss of so many of God’s little creatures, it was like Serena had somehow from around the world reached in and planted a small flower of comfort and love.
Time has passed between April 27th, 2011 and now. A lot of things in life have settled down and wounds have started healing. There are still bad days and the loss will never completely go away. But, thanks to small acts of love, support, kindness and creativity in the world; people’s lives can be made better. I can honestly say Serena is an ambassador for how we all should act in our lives every day to unselfishly give small pieces of hope, happiness, love and compassion to others any way that we can.