A little over a year has passed since my family unexpectedly lost my Dad, Jim Berlemann. My Dad was truly the glue that held Firefighter Letter Art together. He kept me on task, cleaned the shop, managed inbound and outbound orders, and encouraged me to keep going when I was overwhelmed. Sadly, at that time my Mother, Judy Berlemann was also fighting cancer. Instantly I was in a new roll, I was now the patriarch of our family. This was something that quite frankly I wasn’t ready for. Not only did I have career in the fire service, a family, and a business...but now I found myself in a place where I had to care for my Mom and her affairs. I won’t go into details here, but I will say that there is no way I could have done it without the love and support of my amazing wife, Megan. She stepped up to the plate, brought my Mom into our home, cared for her when she was sick, and so much more. All of this while maintaining our home, and being the BEST Mother to our two children.
On October 3, 2019 my Mom lost her battle and joined Dad in heaven.
I’m sharing this with all of you because I have been absent for the last year and a half, especially the last few months. You may have noticed that I haven’t been running ads on Facebook, updating the website, responding to emails, or getting orders out in a timely manor. Well, now you all know why. In the world of online sales if you aren’t on social media or engaging with your customers everyday, you start to become irrelevant, and slowly disappear. I knew this would happen, but I had to make choice, and I chose my family over my business. If I had to, it’s something that I would do again, without hesitation.
With all of that being said, I owe a sincere apology to all of our customers that have been wondering what exactly is going on, WHERE IS MY ORDER...WHY WONT THIS GUY ANSWER MY EMAILS...Etc.. In all honesty, the answer to those questions is simple...I’ve been out of service.
Today, November 17th, we had celebration of life for my Mom. It was amazing, and she would have loved every minute of it! I’m writing this while sitting next to a camp fire at our family farm, and I feel like my Dad is here with me and kicking me in the rear, telling me to get back in the saddle and to finish what I started, so that’s what I’m going to do.
Before my Mom died she left us with a charge. It was, to “BE A LIGHT UNTO OTHERS”. So, my siblings and I have decided to start a charitable fund to honor our parents. www.bealightuntoothers.com So many have been “a light” unto us over the last year and half, and we think it would make our parents proud to return the favor. There will be more details to come in the near future, but it goes without saying that starting today a portion of Firefighter Letter Art’s sales will be contributed to this. We haven’t worked out all of the details yet, but when we do I will let you all know.
I’m heading home tomorrow. I’ll be back in the shop on Wednesday, and I’m going to start to get things back on track. Thank you for the support over the last 5 years, and your patience and understanding right now.
BE A LIGHT UNTO OTHERS
Firefighter Letter Art
November 18, 2019