"There are man eating sharks in every ocean, but we still swim. Every second, somewhere in the world, lightning strikes, but we still play in the rain. Poisonous snakes can be found in 49 of the 50 states, but we still go looking for adventure. A car can crash, a house can crumble, but we still drive, and we love coming home. Because I think deep down we know that with all the bad things that can happen in life, they can't stop us from making our lives...
I took these words from an Allstate Insurance commercial playing in the rotations on TV right now that I am in love with. You can watch it here:
I love these words, but is it just me, or does it seem really, really hard lately to remember that?
In this tiny little nowhere town that I live, there have been 3 or 4 completely unrelated shootings or stabbings in the last few months. Most of these have been people that know or live with each other. What the heck?
And should we even talk about the natural disasters happening? Two major tornados in Oklahoma within a week? A major forest fire in Wisconsin? Tsunamis? Hurricanes? The fact that these things are bigger than us and we don't have control over them is what scares me the most.
One thing that we do (sort of) have control over though, are senseless shootings in public places. It makes me so sad inside to think about the people that are present for these horrible, horrible crimes.
On the morning of December 14, 2012, a 20 year old Adam Lanza shot his mother, drove to the nearby Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT and killed six adults and TWENTY children ages six and seven.
Those poor, sweet children who will never get to do so many things that their families had always dreamed them of doing! Their first date, band concerts, sports games, prom, marriage, family, etc, etc, etc!
After this horrible event left me in shock, wondering how I would feel if it were one of my own children that would never be coming home from school that day, I was reading one of my very favorite blogs written by my friend Sharon who enjoys all things yarn and photography (which is exactly why I want to be her when I grow up) and came across this beautiful blog post. Sharon wanted to do something - anything - that would offer even the tiniest amount of help to these families who had been struck with the worst pain in the world, of losing someone they dearly love.
I immediately knew that this was something I had to be a part of. Sharon not only was asking her readers and customers for monetary donations to be sent to these families, but also was requesting the help of her knitters in making at least 26 blankets to send in memory of those lost that day. She put out a request for squares measuring 8" X 8" to everyone she knew.
About two weeks ago, I headed over to Sharon's studio and picked up my bunch of 77 squares that had been collected from every corner of the country (and probably some outside of the country, I'd guess?), sorted by Sharon and some of her staff, and carefully divided into some sort of order.
It was my absolute pleasure and honor to be able to crochet these 77 squares together to make one blanket filled with so much love to have it sent off to one of these families.
Borders were put on each of the squares, and then they were arranged...
and rearranged until Morgan and I came up with just the right pattern to have them laid out to.
And then began the process of stitching them each together. Never before can I think of creating anything with my hands that had so much meaning.
Every single stitch that went into this blanket was made for a specific reason.
I can only hope that the recipient knows that, and can feel that.
I hope they can feel the love that went into it, and the love from the person that they can no longer get one more hug from.
It truly came from the hearts of many many people who are still thinking of you all - even six months, almost to the day, after that day that changed your lives.
So please wrap up in this beautiful gift, and remember that son/daughter/sister/brother/mom/teacher/friend that you lost in such a senseless way, and know that there are people still thinking of you. It is our way of sending you 77 hugs that will never run out. Ever.
To Sharon, thank you for making your idea come to life, and letting me be a part of it!
(This is a picture of me knitting the square I made and gave to Sharon back in January. I hope it's stuck in the middle of another blanket being put together by someone else!)
So hopefully when all we see on the news is bad, and we are feeling discouraged when bad things happen, we will remember that there are good things going on too.
I can't do much for these families. But I can knit, and I can crochet squares together. If this blanket helps heal one heart even one little bit, I will feel good knowing that I did something that mattered.