When I first met Leigh back in 2006-2007 she was the president of Women's Network. I had just joined our business full time and wanted to get involved in something to help me connect with other business professionals. I remember vividly listening to her talking at a Women's Network luncheon about how much she loved quilts and how similar a quilt and friendships are. As a quilt is being made you are cutting piece of fabric that you really like or have meaning to them. In the beginning they are just small pieces but as you begin to sew those small pieces together you see how beautiful it becomes. Friendships and even professional relationships are the same. You are the first piece to a quilt and the more friends that you make and even professional relationships to begin to inter-weave them together. You begin introducing each of these people to one another and before you know it you have a great network of people similar to a beautiful quilt. I just remember thinking that we somehow connected as she was speaking a language I understood. Over the years I would get to know Leigh and even joined the Chamber Ambassadors in 2008 along with her. It wouldn't be long until I found out she was pregnant and I was so happy for her as I knew she would make a great momma!
I didn't know Bruce but I know how happy he made Leigh. You could tell that they were made for each other. When Stormy was born I made her a little John Deere pink and brown rag blanket because I knew this little girl was going to be a little cowgirl! Every time I would see Leigh and Stormy I would tell Leigh "Girl you look like your daddy!" and they would both smile and Stormy would bury her head on momma's shoulder. She most certainly keeps Leigh on her toes and it was cute seeing Stormy come to ribbon cuttings with the Chamber Ambassadors.
When I got the phone call that Lt. Bruce Britt was the fireman that had lost his life on a call this morning my heart sank. I immediately thought about Leigh and Stormy and I wish there was something I could do to take away their pain. The next several days would be like a horrible nightmare you wish you could wake up from. I realize in life that we are not promised a tomorrow. I can only imagine that Lt. Bruce Britt died doing something he loved and dedicated his life to being a firefighter for 23 years. I think for me it just makes you realize that these men and women who put their lives in danger to protect our lives are heroes. Just like our military, police and any other job on the front line when they signed up for this job they realized that they may give the ultimate sacrifice including their life to protect others. Lt. Bruce Britt didn't know this would be his last alarm and I can only imagine that he wasn't scared because he was doing his job and making sure others were ok.
I have to say that it is truly amazing to live in a community that bands together when there is a need. No matter if it's helping a family dealing with cancer, raising funds to support various things in our community, offering assistance to a displaced family that needs help or honoring a fallen hero....our community ROCKS! To see the amazing outpouring support to the Britt family including his firefighter brothers and sisters was incredible. Columbia, MO you make me proud! A huge thank you to everyone from surrounding counties and even several states for showing this family so much love during a difficult time. Lt. Britt I didn't have the pleasure of knowing you but you sir but you have left a major mark on our town and I thank you for your bravery and dedication to our fire department. From the many wonderful memories and stories that so many have told since you left this earth you certainly have left a large hole in so many hearts. Godspeed Lt. Bruce Britt.
Well done John Darkow and Columbia Daily Tribune....