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Friday, October 13, 2006


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Sometimes we need time and space to heal wounds rather than well-meaning help from outside which opens the wounds more. When I am hurting, the last thing I want is to deal with responding to people I know, much less people I don't know. This gift, as beautiful and loving as we want it to be, could wind up being more of a burden to their hearts than a healing. Sometimes we want to do something so badly to make things better, but it cannot be made better by us. I think the greatest gift we can give these families is space and to take our generous, loving impulse and propagate it outward into the world, each in our own way, and our own circle of community in the memory of these girls, and in solidarity with their families. We can make a quiet tribute, unknown and unburdening to the families, but which nevertheless promotes love and understanding and makes the world a better place. I think letting go of our desire to make things better is the best way we can help them. This is a beautiful project, and it has already succeeded just by the conception by Dianna and Shelley, and our willingness to participate.


Thanks, Dianna, for being willing to take the risk and start something that might not be easy, or successful... I do think that it is natural for fibery folks to want to respond, and was a part of a response group at this time last year following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. I also knit for other charities throughout the year. I agree with other commenters, that the best course of action in this circumstance is to be guided by the wishes of the recipients, even if they should go against our own.


I respect and admire the Amish decision, whatever it is. I also admire you and Shelley for even coming up with this project idea. I'll keep the Amish families in my thoughts and prayers as I spin the fiber.


I am not sure if this is any help or not, but the local news interviewed one of the mothers of the victims. They filmed her from behind so her face was not shown. She indicated that all of the cards and letters she has been recieving have been helping her heal and make new memories. I think some kind of offering from us, whether it be shawls, lap robes, or another small knitted gift, would be well recieved. Just my two cents.


I know that this is confusing for some of you. I think Margene stated it very well. But, perhaps this will clarify what has happened.
Rita Rhodes is a Mennonite Midwife and has one foot in the Plain Community and one in the outside world. During the time that our county was inundated by the Press, she was asked to be the spokesperson so that the Press was not badgering the families. Rita is an intelligent, loving and extremely gracious person. She delivered my second child. I'm sure she was attempting to find a compromise that would acknowledge the need for all of you "to do something" without having it intrude on the families'.
Since the tragedy, there has been an outpouring of "stuff" addressed to "THE AMISH, Lancaster County". It has been of great concern to the Bishops as it only serves to continue the invasion of the world into their community. Their consideration is no longer with appearing gracious, but to protect their community from further reminders. The school house was razed this week and it will remain a pasture. There will be no monument to this tragedy or the very unsettling spotlight that this put them in.
In other words, they have closed their doors. It is how they have always lived and how they wish to continue to live. Sometimes it's hard to know what to do for someone who has no need or wish for our solace. Follow their wishes. Pray for them and let them heal in the way that has served them for hundreds of years.


If the shawls can't go to the Amish community, you might consider donating them to a charity.


I'm guessing that you will be emailing everyone who is spinning to let us know.
If this is not meant to be, just know that it was a generous kind thought, and THAT is what matters the most.


I also understand, but hope that instead of only a distraction and reminder of the tragedy that has occurred, our gifts could be a reminder that their community and their ways are precious even to us outside of them.
I'm waiting for my fiber to arrive! But if it is not meant for the Amish families, it will still be spun in rememberance, and cherished elsewhere.


We get strength from our community of friends, friends in fiber as well as others. The Amish get their strength from their community, too. It is completely understandable that something from outsiders would be a distraction and reminder. The mothers will have enough of that for the rest of their lives. God bless them.

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