Homes of Hope | An unexpected gift after heartbreaking loss
The holidays have been extremely difficult for Meredith Eastwood and her son Keaton. In November, Eastwood tragically lost her 11-year-daughter, Ayla, in a house fire at their home in Pike County, Kentucky.
"I still feel like I'm probably in shock over it all," said Eastwood. "But I know where my daughter is and I know that I will see her again and that's just what I keep thinking."
After the fire, Meredith spent about a week in the hospital, recovering from injuries she sustained while trying to escape. After she was released, Meredith spent weeks at her sister's home before moving into a new place with her son.
She and her son are still settling in to their new house, but the transition has been difficult. The two have been living out of trash bags full of donated items. The furniture they had was also donated to them.
"People have offered to give me furniture and I was like yes," said Eastwood. "It doesn't have to match. I'll take it. Whatever you got I'll take it."
Meredith says Thanksgiving without her daughter was extremely tough, but preparing for Christmas without her was even more difficult.
"She loved Christmas," said Eastwood. "Well she loved every holiday but she loved Christmas. I know she is looking down and I know that she can see, not the sad times, but she sees the happy times I know that."
But just days before Christmas, an unexpected gift showed up at Meredith's door. Crews from Big Sandy Superstore showed up with a truckload full of furniture to install.
Meredith was chosen as a recipient of the furniture store's 'Hopes of Hope' giveaway.
"She was always smiling. Always had that smile on her face. She was always happy. She wouldn't any of us sad and I know that," said Eastwood. "I do feel like she is looking down and she is probably smiling thinking like yeah I am happy for my mom and my brother."
Eastwood says the past year and a half for her family hasn't been easy--losing her mother last year and her daughter this year. However, Meredith says Ayla's smile and this gift are giving her the strength and the hope to keep going.
"Even though she is not here she still is keeping me going. Just overwhelmed and how of course I wish Ayla could be here to see this because I know she would be so happy about it," said Eastwood. "We will call it home in no time and I've got my Ayla right there."
Meredith says she and Ayla's father want to urge everyone to check their smoke detectors to make sure they are working and to make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector.