Hey guys, this is Susan’s friend, Jenny. I’m just on here to let you know that Susan is having a family emergency and she’s asked me to sign on and tell you that she won’t be able to write any blog posts for a few days. She is fine, just dealing with some stuff and away from her computer. Please send her your thoughts and prayers, she will be back on as soon as she can.

I’m going to take this opportunity to completely hijack her blog, without any sort of permission (or even her knowledge!), and write a little post to you about love. Specifically the love I’ve felt from this community in the past two months.

Many of you know me, most of you don’t, but two months ago I had a bit of a family emergency of my own when my pregnancy ended at six and a half months. I’m not on here to talk about my experience, but to talk about the community that has sprung from this farm. When we lost our little girl, the women who make up the Juniper Moon Virtual Flock over on Ravelry gathered around my husband and me and absolutely showered us with support and love. They made us comforting (and gorgeous) knitted and felted gifts, sent us restaurant gift certificates, books, DVDs, delicious caramels, just about anything you could have thought of to distract us or to remind us in a time when everything was dark and sad, of what’s sweet and comforting in this life. Best of all, we got cards, notes, messages of love and strength and empathy, from so many people, more people than I thought there were– people I’d only ever met online, people my husband had never heard of, even some people I’d never spoken to at all, even online.

These women gave me a place to talk about my experience, to express my grief, anger and confusion, a place to laugh and find my sense of humor when even that very basic part of me seemed so lost and wrong. There was nothing I could say that would shock or upset anyone, they were all so understanding and forgiving. The experienced moms gave me practical advice as I dealt with all the physical changes one goes through after giving birth. Women who I hadn’t met piped in to tell me their similar stories of loss and assure me that I will feel happy again. Those who I have met in person and have become “real life” friends mourned with me and encouraged me to get out and join in life, go to Rhinebeck, go to the Fall Shearing party. Sweet, loving, caring women who have way too much grace to ever think of uttering a swear word encouraged and supported me as I let my inner sailor fly.

I told my therapist early on that one of the worst parts of this is that I have all this momness in me now and nowhere to put it, and she told me that I needed it for myself. She was right, but I’ll tell you something- I realized that I had dozens of moms, dozens of sisters, dozens of best friends. They actually call themselves “the aunties,” which is perfect. I couldn’t have made it through these past two months as well as I did without them. They became part of my family, and I had never given them anything.

One day, three years ago, I found this random woman on the internet who was selling wool off her very own sheep, which I thought was pretty cool. Turns out others around the world thought what she was doing was pretty cool, too. Then one day, two months ago, I found myself falling. These people, who only knew me through this one little commonality, thinking that it was pretty cool that the random woman from the internet was selling wool off her very own sheep, became the safety net I needed, and caught me. Not to be too dramatic about it, but there it is.

The gifts they sent us in this time have been amazing, they gave us something fun to focus on, something warm to wrap around us, something pretty to wear or display, and I love and appreciate every one of them (I’m eating a caramel as I write this, Erin!), but the pure love behind all the packages, cards and messages was what was so truly uplifting to us.

By the way, in case you haven’t realized it, I’m talking about YOU. YOU, who read this blog and are part of this community. Even if you have no clue who I am, you are part of this community because you share an interest in a way of life where people are accountable for their choices, rely on hard work and mindfulness, love and support each other, and practice genuine acts of kindness with absolutely no thought of return.

Susan really has no clue that I’m writing this, I hope she forgives me for stealing her blog, but I’m doing it to pay tribute to her and this family she’s started. This guerilla blog post is an effort to thank the people who read this blog, people who I will never feel I can ever have thanked enough, and to give an outsider’s perspective to those who may be new to this farm, or not be a part of the group on Ravelry (yet), just to show how truly full of love and light this community you have joined really is. I know you are all sending your love to Susan, as you sent it to me.

Thank you. So, so much.