No doubt, a lot was lost in last week’s winter storm.
Countless homes were left waterlogged, some burned to the ground.
Several lives were also lost in the power outages that left families freezing and in the dark.
One North Texas family has been dealt one loss after another, beginning when they lost power.
“We have goats, we have chickens,” said Mitchel Miller. “[My wife] picked out another 25 different varieties of chickens that are due to be delivered in March.”
It was all a dream come true for Miller, his wife Ana-Merche Stierwalt Miller and their four young children, ages 11 to 14.
The family sold their Farmers Branch home after purchasing 10 acres of land in quiet Sanger.
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The Millers were temporarily living in an RV on their plot of land as they began to build their new house.
Like millions of Texans, the family also experienced rolling outages when last week’s winter storm hit the region.
Temperatures inside the camper dipped to 48-degrees.
Miller decided to start up an old generator outside to keep his family warm.
“Not even 10 minutes I was inside, and I came out to walk our little dog and I happened to look over and the generator was on fire,” he said. “It spread from there to the storage unit and the RV and burned them down.”
The fire destroyed most of the family's belongings, although some items were in storage.
The Millers rushed to buy new clothes and ended up in a hotel where Ana-Merche’s increased stress caught up with her after dinner Monday night, he said.
“She looked at us and says 'I don’t feel good. I need to go lay down,'” said Miller. “I called 911 and as I did, she just suddenly leaned back in the chair and stared at the ceiling and just wouldn’t respond at all.”
The mother of four was rushed to the hospital late Monday night.
“As soon as they got her into the building, her heart stopped,” he said. “Her oxygen content was only at 58% and she didn’t make it.”
Ana-Merche suffered a heart attack, potentially brought on by blood clots in her lungs.
Wednesday would have been her 57th birthday. Instead, her husband of 15 years spent the day arraigning her funeral.
“Yesterday was worse than the day before,” said Miller. “So far, I’ve kept busy today and it hasn’t hit yet, but I know that it’s going to come.”
Miller remembers showing her his wedding band found in the rubble of the fire.
“I have her ring and my ring together,” he said showing his ring-finger.
Miller has renewed his vow to follow-through on their plans.
“I’m going to build her dream out here,” he said. “I’m going to build a little monument for her, so she’ll always see the sunrise. She’ll always be here on the land with her goats and her chickens.”
To those who’ve lost their homes or a loved one in the winter storm, Miller offers some encouragement.
“This is like one of the darkest times in my life, but there’s always hope. There’s always light at the end of the tunnel,” he said. “Just never give up hope.”