Richmond Hill family keeps spirits high this Christmas

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As the suspects in the south side disaster remain in jail, families affected by the blast are making the most of their current situation. Their homes have been demolished. Neighbors who lost almost everything in the explosion are trying to keep spirits high this holiday — even if it means living in a temporary apartment.

They say the little things in life are most important. For Andrea Cox and her family, it’s the small sentiments that have kept them smiling for the past six weeks.

“I was not in the Christmas spirit. I’ve had a hard time finding that Christmas spirit through all of this,” said Cox. “We’re just feeling the lost and devastation. Thanks to neighbors and the community and churches, I have found that Christmas spirit.”

The Cox family lost their home on Fieldfare Way on November 10th. Andrea says she’ll never forget the sound of the blast that blew open her front door and cracked the wall right above her son, Chris’, bed.

“That was the longest climb up my stairs because I was afraid of what I was going to find,” said Cox. “We ran downstairs and we started to smell the smoke and we heard our neighbors coming out of their houses, crying and yelling.”

Throughout the bad, the Cox family is finding some good — whether it be all the presents, most of them donated, underneath the tree to the little surprise that was left at their front door.

“We got jingled last night with a bell and everything with a whole bunch of goodies in it,” she said.

They decided to pay it forward and leave cookies at their neighbors.

“Christmas means truly what Christmas means this year,” said Andrea. “It’s not about going to the mall and getting the deals. It’s the celebration of Jesus’ birth. It truly is a special, special day.”

Andrea asked her kids, Haley and Chris, what they wanted for Christmas this year. Both said they didn’t want anything and added “Mom, none of that matter now.”

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