On Christmas morning, Nathan and I were asleep at his parents' house in Michigan when, at 6:35am CST, we received a frantic call from our friend who was petsitting for us. He was in the midst of evacuating the building with our two dogs (Otis & Bruno) after what he could only assume was "either lightning str[iking] [our] roof or a bomb exploding". Hero that he is, he was able to get himself and our dogs out safely and then waited in the freezing cold without a jacket until his family could come and get them.
Meanwhile, in Michigan......we frantically searched and devoured any news about the explosion that we could find. Of course, there were few solid details so early on. All we knew for sure at the time was that it was, indeed, a bomb and that 2nd Avenue (our favorite street in all of Nashville) was all but gone. The depths and range of emotion we experienced was unfathomable- shock, anger, and sadness over what had just happened; feeling completely useless being so far away and unable to comfort our furry guys; devastated that our friend had to go through that instead of us, but thankful that he and the dogs got out safely; and along with all of that.... so many question marks and crippling uncertainty. We were returning to Nashville the next evening and had no idea what we would be coming home to.
As bartenders in Nashville's close-knit Hospitality Industry, we have been so incredibly lucky to have the love and support of our colleagues. They were quick to act, offering lodging, food, clothing, assistance with the dogs- any and every thing.
Nathan and I are also extremely blessed to have a large and loving community of friends and family across the country who have really gone to bat for us. We're thankful for and humbled by each and every one of you.
It's just so surreal.
Newly-engaged, living in our dream loft, bruised but not broken by how COVID-19 decimated the service industry, hopeful for the future, and excitedly planning our wedding. That was our life when we curled into bed on Christmas Eve night.
We met in DC in April of 2014. He was in town on business for a few months and we had matched on Tinder as his uber drove him from the airport. Our dates ended up being few, but each was more memorable than the last- his company was relocating him to Seattle. We chatted a bit in those first weeks after he left, but ultimately lost touch. Fast forward to December 2018: I'm still in DC and preparing to move out of the country (to Belize, where my family is from) and counting down the days to my departure when Nathan (who I hadn't been in contact with in over 4 years) slid into my instagram DMs and invited me to visit him in Nashville for a week before I moved.
Well, I did! Needless to say, it worked out and after months of daily texts/calls and some international travel back and forth, we decided that I would join him in Nashville in June 2019.
Since then, together with our retired racing greyhound (Otis) and our adorable pomeranian overlord (Bruno), we've built a strong and happy life full of love and community while living in our dream loft on our favorite street in historic downtown Nashville.
This is a super scary and uneasy place to be: without our home and uncertain about our futures. We know the biggest blessing is that we're all safe, but we need to ask for financial help to rebuild our lives. And we need you to please share our story.
Words can't express how grateful we are in this moment and we know that we'll get through this and be stronger than ever on the other side of it.
Heartfelt thanks & love,
Glo, Nate, Otis, & Bruno
P.S. Happy New Year from these party animals
P.P.S. Here are some pics of us at home in happier times vs. now
- Thomas Hartzog
- Kim Bente (née Gilgenast)
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