Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church - Hot Springs Village, AR
Sent:Friday, January 18, 2013 7:22 PM
Subject:Thank you!
My name is Dawn and we have never met, but I needed to send you a note of thanks. On Dec.14,2012 my community was harmed in a way no one could imagine.
What started out being a day full of promise and love turned into a day of horror, shock, and sadness. My three children were off to school, my husband, who is a Police Lieutenant was hard at work and I had taken the day off to clean my house and go Christmas shopping. As I am vacuuming I realize my doorbell is ringing and my phone is going off with text messages, calls, and emails all at once. My neighbor starts yelling something about a shooting and a lockdown and what did I know.
I listened to my voice mails, to the recorded message that all schools are locked down for a possible shooting in a school. My breathe was lost, my stomach hurt and I got my keys and drove to my children's school which is Newtown High School as fast as I could. I, like the rest of my town assumed if there is a shooting, it was at our high school. As I drove the pit in my stomach increased with every police car, ambulance, and helicopter that was rushing into our town. I could tell by the lack of activity at the High School that there was nothing going on there and I thanked God.
As I turned down the next road to make the loop back to my house, and I realized it's our elementary school. It was like a war zone with police running; guns drawn and parents frantic and crying and ambulances lined up. There were at least 50 of them just sitting idling. I remember wondering why there were so many ambulance and why were they just sitting there? Why weren't they helping to save someone?  Sadly we know now that they had no one to save.
The past few weeks have been a blur. As a community we have mourned, comforted and cried. We have started memorials, baked pies, and lit candles. We have written poetry, songs and petitions.  We have painted pictures and looked at the smiling faces from photos of each and every one of the victims. We have buried children and teachers.  Our community is broken but being held together through love.
A few days ago, I received one of your prayer shawls. I feel as if one of the 26 angles brought it to me. Who would believe that a piece of cloth could have so much power. I have kept myself wrapped in it and have felt your love and blessing daily. In addition to physically warming my back, it gives me strength and comfort and it is helping me through this difficult time. I hope you understand how powerful your love and prayer is and please know that the hours you spent putting together shawls have brought comfort to so many. I cannot thank you enough and please know that so many others feel the same as me.
We are Newtown, We are Strong, and we choose Love!
Many thanks,