Thursday, 20 October 2011

Thursday @ 3 - 'HELL IN PARADISE'

I was searching for inspiration this morning as the 3.00pm deadline loomed and this week's 'Thursday@3' was still unwritten, not even formed in my mind.

Thank you to Glen, who suggested (tongue in cheek?) something along the lines of - 'there is this big family, loads of kids who can all sing. Then this Nanny comes along who can also sing...'

Also, David Barber, who suggested a current news item!

And Cormac Brown, who proffered the notion of how a strange or exotic item turned up in a room

These ideas are fermenting away in a corner and may appear in future weeks so thanks, you guys!

In the meanwhile a hitherto unimagined thought took root and with a little tender nurture blossomed into this week's story......for your perusal! Comments gratefully received, if you feel so inclined!


They say such trauma must still echo around the place. Perhaps it does. Perhaps, though we don’t go looking for it, it still sits quietly waiting in the wings, curtained from everyday life to exist only within dreams. Indeed there are nights when I awake and wonder if the three gunshots I heard were real or just echoes of the past.

It’s been some years now; my childhood is a thing of the past and the memories of friends now departed are wrapped and stored in the far recesses of my mind, to cherish in private. We mourned, we rejoiced and we gave thanks for those blessed lives that touched our own but life moved on, for we believe this reality is not all there is.

Our lifestyles are so different. They laugh at us, for our simple ways. We are quaint; a curiosity to be observed, but do they understand we see them, too? I don’t envy the incessant chaos that seems to follow them yet I wonder if those winsome glances they cast towards us reflect a longing for peace and simplicity. But when our worlds collided on that day there was no peace.

Their world crashed into ours and they expected us to crumble, to be dissolved into their expectation of despair and anger and for a time there was pain and confusion, until we gathered up our shattered dreams and brokenness.

We remembered, we mourned; but we believe this life is not all there is and so we turned our hands outward and comforted them in their sorrow and that has brought a peace their world cannot give.

The above story was inspired by the mention of the 2006 Amish schoolroom tragedy in a Youtube video I watched recently. After the loss of their children in a brutal shooting incident, the Amish community drew ranks around the family of the killer, Charles Roberts, showing as much love and concern for them in their grief and loss as their own Amish brethren.

Aside from their beliefs, we have much to learn from them - after all, 'when the oil runs out and the revolution comes' we may need to go back to a simpler lifestyle! So, perhaps there's an incentive for me to keep knitting........!


  1. Very moving! xxx

  2. you could have at least had one of them sing...

    Not really, you certainly found something. I'd never heard of that at all.

  3. This is beautiful. I love your profile pic!! :)

  4. Was it really 5 years ago? Oh my it seems like it just happened a year ago. So sad and such an example of compassion. I loved your story. Thank You!
    Blessings, Joanne

  5. BRAVO!!!!!!!!

    This story had more compassion and humanity in it than anything else I have read in years.

  6. Thanks for the comments, you guys. Amazingly, this seems to fit last week's prompt for F3, which I hadn't even looked at as time was an issue for me recently. Funny what drops into your mind....

  7. Beautifully written, Sue! I am so glad you posted a comment with the link even though the deadline had passed. This story is too important to miss.

    Love and forgiveness... two things that often seem to be in short supply. I completely agree... we can take lessons from the Amish... beyond just their compassion and understanding of the human condition.

    I am very moved by your writing, and consider it a privilege to know you and read your stories.

    Thank you!

  8. This is very thought provoking, thank you.