On June 20, 2011, the 8,000-square-foot, four-story Possible Dream home in Hayesville, N.C., was struck by lightning during a severe storm. Fortunately no one was home at the time, but the log house was reduced to a mountain of ash and debris. Virtually nothing survived. The handicapped-equipped motorhome used to transport the children between North Carolina and Florida burnt to a crisp, and the 3500 Super Ranch pickup truck used around the farm was also destroyed.
This was the Geraldis’ home—twelve of the children had been living there with Mama Camille, and others had planned to move there from Florida the following day. This was the home intended for their retirement. The place the children and adults could carry on Camille’s and Michael’s legacy, working on the farm, training the dogs, and caring for each other throughout their lives. This was the culmination of all Camille had worked for during the 15 years she’d been in North Carolina.
The house had recently been renovated and expanded to accommodate all of the Geraldis. It could sleep 50, had a finished basement, a fireplace, decks and patios. It was decorated with dream catchers, hand-made by Camille herself. It held the ashes of Geraldi children who have passed on. It held giant dog kennels with seven dogs.
It was home to all of their best memories: slumber parties, painting days, joke-telling nights. They put on shows there, sang and danced, held picnics, played games. It was the first time the Geraldi children had some semblance of privacy and individuality—and in an instant, it was all gone.
Authorities say there were 50 lightning strikes within a 2 ½ mile radius that night. The Geraldis are lucky to be safe, but their home—not so much. They lost more than memories that night. They lost clothes, food, medical equipment, furniture, jewelry and photographs. You name it, they lost it.
After living in cramped trailers on the property for months, the once North Carolina-based Geraldis moved to a house in Ellijay, Ga.; the Miami-based Geraldis will have to stay where they are for the foreseeable future. The dream of bringing the family together in one happy home has been suspended once again.
Help the Geraldis rebuild and Donate Now! They could sure use your support.