In my community yesterday, there was a terrible tragedy. A man shot his way into an ex-girlfriend's home in the middle of the night and murdered her. Then he shot himself. Upstairs sleeping were the woman's two children. I saw it on the news and thought "how terrible." This morning, while reading the newspaper I saw the name of the victim. It looked very familiar to me so I began trying to place it. Then I knew. The woman killed was the mother of two children I had in my prekindergarten classroom anout five years ago.
I flashed back to a similar tragedy that happened perhaps eight or so years ago when the father of a former preschool student shot and killed the mother and then himself while the three young children watched. At the time, my response was to make quilts for the three children -- my former preschool student and her brother and sister. I organized my coworkers and we whipped out three throw sized quilts for the children.
I'm already beginning quilts for these latest two children who are now motherless in a blink of an eye.
The area where I live is quite rural and it scares me to death that even bad things happen here. To people I know. To children that I loved and once taught.
Then I think of my response as a quilter to such tragedies and I think of all of the other quilters out there in the world who respond in a similar way in similar situations. And I know I'm not alone. Quilts of Valor.....Project Linus -- these are but a few charitable quilt projects. I know that great numbers of quilts were sent to Japan after the earthquake and tsunami. What about September 11th? I bet there were a lot of quilts donated to victims and their families.
The incredible capacity that quilters have to care for complete strangers and their troubles is a humbling thought. Quilters are some of the most special people in the world.