This pretty package for Mandalas for Marinke comes from Elizabeth in Iowa, who can be found as ProchetByEAS on Instagram and Etsy and as EASmith on Ravelry. She says, “I am an avid crocheter and recently began designing my own patterns. I live in rural Iowa with my husband and our two crazy little boys.”
We learn from Etsy that Elizabeth learned to crochet when she was twelve, taught by her mother. But she shares that her memories of crochet come from even earlier, writing, “Crocheting is in my blood; both my maternal and paternal grandmothers are crocheters. I have cherished memories of my grandmother sending me gifts that she hand crocheted.” Although she learned before she was a teenager, Elizabeth says, “It wasn’t until I was pregnant with my first son that I really took crochet seriously; I wanted to make him something that he could cherish and I wanted him to have memories of someone hand making gifts for him. Since then I’ve been learning and perfecting my crochet skills. My kids have all kinds of crochet toys; my kitchen is filled with crochet potholders, coasters, table runners and wash cloths; and at night, we cozy up on the couch with blankets crocheted by my grandmothers.”
“Thank you so much for putting this project together!
I remember when I found Wink’s blog; I loved all of the colorful creativity and couldn’t wait for her next mandala pattern. I was so very saddened to hear of Wink’s death. Depression is a disease that takes far too many beautiful lives from this world.
I feel grateful that I am able to help spread awareness for this disease, and I hope my mandala contributions help, even in a small way, to brighten someone’s dark day.”
They help. They all help! See all Mandalas for Marinke posts here.
For the suicide awareness portion of today’s post, I wanted to turn your attention to an initiative called Carry the Fallen, which aims to reduce suicides among military veterans. It’s a hiking event to raise awareness as well as strengthen support systems.
“Teams ruck-march for 3, 6, 12 or 22 hours while carrying weight that symbolizes the burden that many veterans carry post-war or post-trauma.
I think the symbolism of this is very potent. Carrying depression of any kind feels physically heavy. It is apt.
The hiking events have a few core goals:
“1. Establishing camaraderie to cope with Post Traumatic Stress (anger, depression, loneliness, substance abuse and suicidal tendencies). Uniting veterans, families and supporters to care for each other in times of need.
2. Training Team Leaders how to interact with suicidal veterans and the steps to assist them.
3. Developing a Peer Mentor and Ambassador community of veterans, military families and civilians who support struggling families and/or veterans
4. Supporting Active Heroes programs including the retreat, community center, home repairs, and active challenges from donations raised by the Carry The Fallen events that will help reduce veteran suicide with outdoor activity programs and educational programs.”
Nearly two dozen military veterans commit suicide daily, according to this site.