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Letter: Snow angels for the Sandy Hook children

My heart was heavy with grief and anger because of the terrible tragedy in Newtown , Connecticut. I looked out the window at the snow coming down and felt so helpless. I needed something to do to relieve this burden.

I decided to go out side and build snow children in honor of the children who were gunned down.

I put on my "snow gear" and trudged across the street to my neighbor's house and knocked on their door.

"You're going to think I'm crazy." I said. Then I proceded to explain what I was going to do on our lots located next to their house.

He nodded that he understood and I said goodbye and began building the snow children.

I had barely finished the first one when I heard a noise behind me. I turned and saw my neighbor, in his snow gear, begin making a snow-child.

We worked quietly together for about 2 hours, making child-size statues. He then said we should make bigger ones for the teachers and other adults who were victims as well. So we did .

As we worked I thought about my neighbor. He and his wife are new to our area. She is a survivor of a senseless act of violence. He has served our country completing 3 tours of duty in Afganistan. Both of them have wounds. Wounds you can't see but they are there. They know how hard healing can be.

When we finished our snow statues, I thanked him for helping me. He replied with, "My wife is cutting ribbons to put on them."

He went into the house and came back with a handful of brightly colored ribbons.

As we worked our way down the rows of statues, I placed a ribbon around each neck. I had a sense that we were placing wreaths around white crosses.

We stood and looked at what we had accomplished. At first I thought, "It took us longer to build these memorials than it did for that man to gun these people down."

Then I realized that even though building snow children may not seem like much of a way to heal. I did feel like I had accomplished two very positive things. I worked off some of my anger and I connected with my neighbor.

Or did he connect with me?

Andrea Thelin