A South Lubbock family is trying to pick up the pieces after their home burned down Thanksgiving Day, but it's a long waiting process that could leave them without any shelter come Christmas Eve.
"This time around last year, we had gifts under the Christmas Tree. And this year, we only have but one," said Felix De La Cerda.
And yet -- this family of five still says they have so much to be thankful for, even after a water heater exploded in their mobile home Thanksgiving Day.
Felix says his wife and daughters were the only ones home at the time.
"She opened those cabinet doors, that's when the flames shot out," said De La Cerda.
You see -- Felix's wife, Meredith -- is deaf. And so are his three daughters -- Autumn, Summer, and Spring.
"My kids were in the front, my wife was in the back. They couldn't hear it until it was too late. The smoke was already starting to engulf in here," said De La Cerda.
As the family sifts through what's left of their belongings, it's clear there's not much left of the place they called home for ten years. Clothes, shoes, nearly every basic need, all up in flames. Felix says many have told him his house is not fixable.
"It's hard because I don't ask for help from anybody, I do it all on my own. It's taken me a long time but I've done it. It was liveable."
Complicating things even more, Felix is disabled, and he just recently underwent surgery. But as the only ears in the household, he's got even more responsibility to make sure life carries on.
"It's still hard, I've been on my feet all day, my legs are about to give out."
Felix says he's filed for help from Housing and Urban Development and there's help on the way, but when is a never answered question. But even after all the hardship, and the reality of more to come, even when help is needed most, this humble family continues to look beyond themselves.
During our visit, they kept wishing our team at KAMC 28 a Merry Christmas, and never once complained about their current situation.
If you'd like to help the De La Cerda family, an account has been set up at City Bank under "Felix and Meredith De La Cerda." Or you can make donations at Shadow Hills Baptist Church. Just contact Malinda at 543- 8659 for drop off times or questions.