guerrilla goodness: in honor of emilie…

December 17, 2012

emilie love-2

I waited to tell her as long as I could…I knew she would take the news deep into her heart.

She is inquisitive.

She is soulful.

She is seven.

I scooped her into my arms, we climbed in bed and I tucked the covers all around us…with some false assumption that we would feel safe there.

“I have something I have to tell you Lucy…” I said. I followed the guide, trying to remember everything it said as I carefully laid out the story to her.

When I was done, she was quiet. We sat for what felt like an eternity…until she spoke. It was almost a whisper.

“Mom, that is very, very sad.” she replied quietly.

“It is baby, it is.” I agreed.  Just a moment later she spoke again.

“Can you tell me the kid’s names?” she asked.

I went through the list of children I remembered…then I stopped when I got to Emilie.


“There was a little girl who was six and she loved art, she carried her crayons and paper every where she went so she could make pictures for people.” I explained.

“I love to do that too.” she said.

“I  know. I am wondering if there is something we can do to honor Emilie.”

I proposed we sew tiny art coloring books like we have so many times before . The little books kept children busy in restaurants and car  rides, it seems all roads lead to art in my house…and in Emilie’s. I asked Lucy if she wanted to take the books and tie some crayons up with them in packages and leave them at the park and library, places where kids could find the small gift in honor of Emilie…in honor of a fellow 1st grade artist.

emilie love

Lucy liked the idea and asked me what I thought the other children liked. I said I didn’t know but maybe we could find out.

My heart was breaking, thinking of how long the list of likes must be…of simple things like art and cars and games.

…and how there won’t be any new drawings from Emilie on a refrigerator somewhere, or no more laying on her belly on the living room floor drawing pictures with her sisters, or a sweet presentation of crayon art to a grandpa or someone else she loved…but I can imagine Emilie, like Lucy would have been delighted to find a little art kit on a playground or on a bus bench.

So this is what we will do, with so much sadness and honor in our hearts, we will talk about Emilie and the others when they rise in our hearts…and we will look for ways to love and honor all the parts of them that brought so much joy to the world.

emilie love-3

You are welcome to join us this week. Here’s how:

1.Gather white and colored paper. We used a sewing machine and the fancy stiches to bind the little books together. Kids love to sew and the bright colors make the books so sweet. (please know you can do this project with or without kids)

2. If you aren’t crafty or don’t have time, the dollar store  and places like Target have great little crayon sets and drawing pads.

3. Attach the crayons and put the art kits in a basket and leave at places kids might find them. Playgrounds, parks, libraries, bus stops, the gym or music classes. You can also leave the kits places by themselves with out the baskets in random spots.

4. Leave a note with each kit saying, “In honor of Emile. She loved to draw and share her art.”

No more explanation is really needed.

If you plan to join us, you can post pictures on the Guerrilla Goodness Facebook page.

Today, we honor you Emilie…thank you for what you gave to the world.


13 Responses to “guerrilla goodness: in honor of emilie…”

  1. Jen Bailey Says:

    This is just beautiful Patience. Thank you both to you and Lucy for this lovely idea. So gentle and kind. At this point I have been shielding my almost 7 year old from the news and haven’t spoken to him about it. I don’t know if this is the right thing to do and have been asking the Universe for guidance. May I ask how you came to talk to Lucy about it? Hugs and Kindness in huge bunches for you & your family…

    • kindnessgirl Says:

      Hey Jen…we don’t have cable or even most network channels so it was pretty easy to keep the flow of news out of the house. Lucy had to go back to school this morning and I was afraid she might hear about it at school so we decided to tell her, Jack and Josiah. Lyra has no knowledge.

      She is a pretty sensitive I wasn’t sure what to expect. She seemed mostly interested in the kids and really wanted to know about them. I think there are still lots of questions ahead for me.

      This post was particularly hard to write…I cried through most of it but I know creating these little kits gives us a chance to hold tight to the beauty of life of each of those kids as we mourn for them and their parents.


  2. Jeri O. Says:

    I’m so very sorry that Lucy has to know about this…I’m so sad that any parent has to talk to their child about this. To be honest, gentle, kind, and patient is all you can hope to be when you talk about such a sad and scary story. This is a lovely way to help kids get through it…to honor Emilie and all the kids that were lost. Thank you Patience. xo

    • kindnessgirl Says:

      thank you Jeri…I am so sad too….been watching this video lots- it brings me comfort… I can not begin to imagine what those parents are feeling.

  3. Kristi Hazelrigg Says:

    Lovely idea. I will join in honoring Emilie.

  4. Courtney Says:

    I love this idea, what a beautiful way to honor that little angel.

  5. so very touching..thank you

  6. Ann Says:

    26 more angels are leading the way now.

  7. susan savoie Says:

    Emilie has a wonderful Father and ..I think she was who she was because of both of her parents. when he Rob Parker got in front of the world to talk of his daughter and to offer forgiveness to the shooter and sympathy to that family. My heart stopped. Wow.No wonder this little girl was so special. That took courage and a warm heart. xoxoxo Peop;e ;lay the guns down..colour a new world.

  8. What a wonderful way to remember not just one little girl but a representative of all of the children…Diane

  9. […] on her to find a way to articulate difficult feelings and to turn sadness and despair into fuel for acts of kindness. I’ve also posted a link to an article about the dogs that were brought to Newtown to help […]

  10. […] the last project of the year was inspired from that talk, In honor of Emilie…and I learned once again that kindness rises in the darkest moments, that we as a people met […]

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