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The Day Creek Howl

Too Close To Home

The+stress+is+unbearable.+Please+come+back.
The stress is unbearable. Please come back.

The stress is unbearable. Please come back.

Image credited to Montana L.

Image credited to Montana L.

The stress is unbearable. Please come back.

Montana L., Editor-in-Chief

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Reading that article, I knew that someday I would probably be in the same situation. My mother and I were sitting in my room, crying. Because if my family wasn’t cautious, we would be in a similar position.

Gary Helming was a father of three: 9-year old Riley and infant twins,Walker and Nalani. Plus, let’s not forget his wife, Andrea Helming. The one who cared for their kids and told them, “Dad will be home soon,” when really, she didn’t know. The wife that held her head high during the darkest of situations. When driving home from a fire, Gary Helming crashed on his return from the Railroad Fire near Yosemite National Park. His friends and family were devastated. So was I.

You are probably thinking poor Helmings or oh no. But to me, the possibility of this outcome is a reality. My dad, Arlando Leyva, has spent almost his entire life in this field: risking himself for people he doesn’t even know. But that’s the life of a firefighter. Who am I to judge?

All throughout my life, my father had told me that the highlight of his day was when he returned to his family- my mom, sister, and myself (“it depends if you and your sister are fighting,” he jokes). Seeing the people that he loved most was the best part of his return, no matter the circumstances.

The firefighter life has always bugged me a little. Most kids look forward to summer. Who wouldn’t? Fun days in the sun, no homework, pool parties. Hooray! What the miss in that celebration is that the same warm weather always creates the likelihood of fires. When there is a fire, there are firefighters. And these fires involve people like Gary and my dad.

When a firefighter comes home and everyone is together,  I can feel the true meaning of the word family. That is nothing anyone can describe. The Helmings may never feel that again. Yet they can feel your love and appreciation. Cards and condolences can be sent to: Santa Lucia Ranger District, attention: Helming Family, 1616 Carlotti Drive.

For all of you who are in a similar situation or could be, this article is for you. All of you who stay strong during the darkest times, I applaud you. Remember that you are not alone.

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The student news site of Day Creek Intermediate School
Too Close To Home