Sunday, October 13, 2013

One Light Still Shines

Do you remember the horrific news story back in 2006 about the milkman
who went into an Amish school house and shot 10 little girls, killing 5 of them?
He then turned the gun on himself.

The "milkman's wife" refused all interviews and news stories.
She would allow no cameras around her 3 children and totally avoided the media.
Good for her!

Then she decided this year that she could see some good in telling her story,
so she wrote a book and it was released 10 days ago, on the 7th anniversary of the shooting.

I just finished reading it last night. It's uplifting, how the author realized she still had
the choice to believe in God, and how there could be joy after darkness.

However, I also have some issues how she told her story.
I'm certain it was very difficult to relive this through writing,
but I think in her trying so hard to focus on the good, I found some parts of her story unrealistic.

According to her book they had a nearly perfect marriage.
Her husband "the shooter" was a wonderful father, always. A very good husband too,
except she says he had become somewhat distant the years before the shooting.
She said, "Charlie had bouts of lingering sadness, but they always passed."

She claims she had no idea he was as sick as he was. I believe it's true that she may not have known,
however, I have a difficult time believing that he was such a wonderful and loving person 
to his children, and then suddenly one day he can go out, tie up 10 little girls, and shoot them. 
I can't fathom a person capable of changing that much, and that quickly.

If life worked that way, we wouldn't be able to trust anyone.

But having said that, it is a very amazing story. Not only that she could find happiness after tragedy...
It's also an incredible story of how the Amish community including the families of the 10 girls 
who were shot by her husband, rallied around her, 
prayed for her, and did acts of service for her and her family, 

I also found some interesting differences between her beliefs and mine.
She finds great comfort and knowledge through reading her Bible often, and I can relate to that.
But she makes the comment in her book that she did not appreciate the load of
"self-help-through-tragedy" books so many had given to her.
She wrote, "I was thankful for the overflow of support,
but my problems were not going to be solved by any book other than the Word of God."
I believe, and know from my own life, that often times we hear the word of God through others.
We can get answers to prayers by many, many different means.

 I admire Marie Roberts Monville.
The common thread throughout her book teaches to look for blessings in every day,
because they are surely there, even after horrible life forever changing tragedies.

Elisabeth Hasselbeck interviewing the author, Marie Roberts Monville


Anonymous said...

This is what was printed in 'The Budget' which is an international Amish newspaper. Paradise PA Oct. 3 -- Yes, it's been 7 years ago yesterday that the shooting occurred at West Nickel Mines school. Most of the former scholars live normal lives but Rosanna, daughter of Christ Kings, improves maybe very slowly but is much in a crippled condition. But we're hoping for the best.

Grandma Honey said...

So sad, Pam. So does this mean the other 4 girls who survived are doing okay? Do you know?

Karen Mortensen said...

Good words and thoughts.

Brock said...

I haven't read the book and only vaguely remember this story from when it first hit headlines, but I absolutely believe that people can change that quickly and that she might not have known what was really going on.

The second thing first: our capacity for denial is pretty great. Also, our ability to keep secrets and separate and compartmentalize the different aspects of our lives and personalities is tremendous.

The first thing: while it's more likely that our falls from grace will be gradual and almost casual in the way they sneak up on us--to the point that our own fallen state can be almost imperceptible to us (but quite likely obvious to others)--it is also true that our fall can be a sudden event given the proper whim or improper release of long-gestating tension.

Basically, if I believe in great, unimaginable good, I also have to believe in great, unfathomable evil.

I still trust people, I'm just not surprised when I'm disappointed.

Anonymous said...

Can't imagine all that forgiveness. Nor how a "loving and wonderful father" could snap like that.
But, I know that in order to move on in our lives in a positive way, we DO have to forgive. Just seems like too much.

Grandma Honey said...

Maybe I'm naive Brock. But to me it's like the analogy of robbing a bank. Does an honest person who has never cheated or stolen from anyone suddenly one day just hold up a bank? Does a man who has been there from day one nurturing and loving his family suddenly buy supplies and make plans to murder a bunch of little girls? Sorry, but I don't get it.

Anonymous said...

I don't know any of the families personally and I wish I had known to read this particular column last year. I can only go on what was printed in the last issue and assume the other girls are physically healed. I agree with Brock. Except whenever I am disappointed, I am surprised that I am treated other than how I would treat others.

Richard said...

I remember President Faust gave an entire Conference talk on this event.

Grandma Honey said...

Yes he did. And I gave a Sacrament meeting talk quoting him.

I guess you got home safely Richard.

Richard said...

Yes I did! After a beautiful weekend in Clovis. Thanks for taking such good care of me.

Anonymous said...

I get Brock's points, but I'm also with you in failing to understand this incomprehensible story/tragedy! It really doesn't make sense. But forgiveness does...