I was running a bit late to school this morning, and when I turned into the hallway and headed toward my classroom, I noticed a box by my door. It was wrapped in shimmering paper, and on top of the box — instead of a bow or ribbon — were three stacks of sticky notes. On top of each stack was a single number:
9 9 6
Somebody had written “Lines of Love Bracelets” on the side of the box in a pink marker. I picked up the wrapped shoebox and opened the separately wrapped lid. Inside the box were four Lines of Love bracelets, huddled in a corner, together.
I reached into the box and delicately removed one of the small bracelets and held it in my hand. It was at that moment that I thought the magnitude of the tragedy would consume me.
Soon, this little bracelet would be around the tiny wrist of a young child, still grieving in her own way, trying to understand what has happened to her world. It was as if all of the sorrow, all of the emotions we have been feeling as a nation, rested in the palm of my hand.
The innocence of childhood, enveloped in fear and confusion, woven together with a heavy desire to save, to protect, to love.
I placed the small, handmade Lines of Love bracelet back in the box, closed the lid, and leaned against the wall in prayer.
Those poor, poor children….
As the day moved along, more students offered bracelets, and the little yellow numbers on the box peeled away, one by one.
The first bracelets for Newtown are made, and the process has begun to offer some solace to those in need. It is a very therapeutic thing to make the bracelets, weaving the threads of love one by one. Earlier this afternoon, I found myself saying the names of the children as I tied the knots, keeping them in my heart, and knowing that the bracelets that are now being made all over the country will soon be close to the hearts of the grieving children and families.
Below are the instructions for how to make the traditional Lines of Love bracelet. Please, feel free to make variations of this design. We ask that you use the colors green, yellow, and white in your design; please use other colors of significance as well, and write a little note with your bracelet to let the Newtown residents know the personal story of why you made that bracelet for them.
I am grateful for everyone who is becoming a Line of Love for the Sandy Hook community. Thank you, one and all.
You can read the introductory post about this campaign here.