August 27, 2002: Dear Community

American Flatbread – Flatbread Kitchen

August 27, 2002


Dear Community,


            I am heartsick.

            I feel sadness with no bottom. I feel anger with no place to point it.

I feel the relentless, aching loss of a friend, of a co-worker, and a child of our community.

            The events of April 12th, when Declan Lyons was shot while tending sauce at Flatbread, have set in motion a complicated progression of emotions and losses. Not one of us has remained untouched. We feel sick or sad or paranoid or suspicious, sometimes all at once. But we don’t feel indifferent.

            It is hard to separate the facts from feelings at a time like this; external realities from internal ones. It takes a lot of energy to do this day after day when answers seem so sparse and the desire for them continues to grow.

            In the time I have known and worked with Isaac Turnbaugh, he has shown kindness and great sensitivity. His personal pain and confusion over the last few months is not fully understood by anyone, especially himself. I am asking my community to suspend judgment; to resist the urge to find a “bad guy”. Speculation in the absence of critical information, although it is our natural inclination, almost never leads to the discovery of truth or understanding.

            We are in a time of not knowing, and so it may be for a while. In the meantime, we can be observant and offer support and compassion to those most affected by these recent tragedies… the friends and families of Declan and Isaac.

            To raise a teenager is to know self-doubt. How many times over the last few years have I questioned my judgment and stamina in raising my own teenagers? I can’t begin to count. What if they make a disastrous choice? Will they survive? Will I?

            Today I pray for the patience and sensitivity to rise above my own pain and see how best to walk in kindness. Please join me.


                                                                                                Jan Brodeur



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