Letter: A wonderful, kind and loving community

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On behalf of myself and my two children, Chase and Judy, please accept our deepest gratitude for rallying around us when my wife, Lydia S. Landeros, passed away suddenly in July 2018. Kind and generous people, some of whom I don’t even know, helped us in our time of intense sorrow and need. I was overwhelmed at the time by the generosity and kindness of people. Some say Winters is changing, but it’s still a wonderful, kind and loving community.

Special thanks to Tree House Children’s Center owners, Cheryl Moore and Janet Andersen, who despite extremely busy schedules, came to the hospital when I called, spent time with my children, and helped guide them through the sudden and unexpected death of their mom. How do you tell a 4-year old and a 9-year that their mom is going to die? I cannot express how grateful I am for their guidance during such a tragic time. Cheryl and Janet also started a Go Fund Me and initiated a Meal Train. Community members responded by donating money for funeral expenses and preparing meals for my family. Cheryl and Janet were the catalyst for the overwhelming level of support my family received. Thank you, both, from the bottom of my heart.

I am also grateful and impressed by the thoughtful generosity of a group of Winters’ youth that also initiated efforts on our behalf – specifically, a group of lifeguards at the Winters pool; Jake, Emma and Will Nicholson, Vanessa Arellano, Marin Spalding, Nick Mckenna, Loren Tolley, Angel Vital, Sam Peteson and Cale Castro. My children have been swimming there since they were babies and when Lydia passed, the lifeguards turned the summer’s last Family Swim Night into a fundraiser by donating their wages for the evening and volunteering their time selling food and beverages purchased with their own funds and donated by Tomat’s and Alex Balasak. The Winters Warriors Pee Wee football team and numerous families and individuals supported my family during this fundraiser.

This kindness and generosity is why I love Winters and it allowed me to plan for unexpected memorial and funeral arrangements as well as burial costs. You helped to keep my children fed when I couldn’t muster the energy to do so myself. Although I am unable to name all who supported us, please know that I am forever grateful to those who provided a meal for my family, sent cards and donated money, gift cards or simply stopped to tell me what an awesome person Lydia was and how sorry they were to hear of her passing. Lydia was the one to draw people in with her huge personality. She was kind to everyone and funny as hell. Lydia impacted many of you with her generosity, humor and kindness.

Although this thank you letter is long, I need to express my appreciation for the support and love shown to my family. Your kindness has been a positive light in the darkness of grief. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Peggy J. Gibson

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