Movers are people too.
That’s what former St. Albert resident Kim Guimond discovered during a recent move to White Rock, B.C. Guimond enlisted local company GLC Moving, which put her in direct contact with Terry Metz, a 54-year-old owner-operator with Atlas Van Lines.
When Metz showed up at the Guimonds’ Lacombe Park residence on Sunday, he noticed a special stone in the front yard. It bore a plaque in memory of the family’s first child, Amanda, who was stillborn in 1989. The family had assumed it would be too costly to move the rock to B.C. and had resigned themselves to leaving it behind in St. Albert.
“We could see it was breaking her up leaving it behind,” said Metz, 54.
So, after leaving the home with the family’s belongings, he and his helper recruited two others and went back to get the rock as a surprise for Guimond.
“We figured it’d be a nice thing to do,” Metz said.
They hit one snag — Guimond returned home and caught them loading the rock.
“I’m beyond stunned,” said Guimond, 46. “I burst into tears when I saw them loading the rock. This is just the sweetest thing ever.”
“We all had tears in our eyes when we got caught,” Metz confessed. “We were trying to get in and out before she noticed. As soon as she caught us, that was the end of that.”
The rock had been a sentimental possession for the Guimond family ever since they discovered it on the front lawn of a new home they bought in Deer Ridge. The young couple quickly got pregnant with Amanda and the rock became their symbol for her. It was a spot for family functions and reflection as they went on to have three healthy children.
“Some people go to a grave site. We go to a rock,” Guimond said. “We always did everything by the rock.”
Household moves are priced by weight so it would have cost roughly $500 to move the 600-plus-pound rock, Metz estimated. He absorbed the cost.
“I didn’t even think about it as an expense. We just did it,” said Metz, a 33-year veteran of the moving business.
“As an experience, as a mover, it felt good,” he added. “Got to have a little bit of compassion every now and then. Moving is tough enough on people.”
“We are very privileged to have a driver working for us that goes the extra mile,” said GLC owner Linda Rebalkin. “I’m just really proud of Terry that he would have thought of doing such a thing.”
At just two or three feet in length, the rock doesn’t look imposing but it required four guys to load it onto a four-wheeled dolly, Metz said.
“I can’t believe how heavy it was for the size of it,” he said. “I would have rather carried a piano.”
The rock is now sitting in front of the new Guimond home in White Rock, in a spot similar to where it had sat in front of their home in St. Albert.
“It’s almost like there was a blank spot,” Guimond said. “It’s like it was meant to be.”