Mother of Nickel Mines Amish school shooter cares for son's victims
On September 30, 2011 At 6:27 pm
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Terri Roberts is the mother of Charles Carl Roberts, IV, the milkman who shot 10 Amish schoolchildren in the Nickle Mines, PA area in 2006. Today, she cares for the victims of her son's shooting rampage. The Christian Post reports:
The shooting shocked the quiet rural county, as well as the nation, and became the subject of media attention for weeks.
What followed would be years of indescribable grief and the struggle of a mother to deal with her loss, her God, and the overwhelming compassion for those innocent victims that consumed her every waking day.
One place where Roberts had found peace is at the bedside of her son's most damaged living victim, a paralyzed schoolgirl, now 11.
During their weekly visit, 60 year old Terri bathes and talks to her, and sings hymns to her. USAToday reports:
Three months after the shooting, Chuck and Terri Roberts began visiting the victims and their families.
Terri invited the surviving girls and their mothers to picnics and tea parties at her home.
At one tea, Terri asked the mothers to sit in a circle and share the highest and lowest points of their lives. She yearned to connect with Mary Liz King, the mother of a paralyzed girl named Rosanna.
King explained how her trials were different than the rest of the victims. Their daughters had died or healed, whereas Rosanna, unable to move most of her body, requires constant care.
She cannot walk, talk or eat, yet Rosanna is aware of her surroundings and attends an Amish school, her father, Christ King, said in an interview.
At the tea, Terri approached Mary Liz and offered to help care for Rosanna.
Almost every Thursday evening since, Terri has visited the Kings for several hours, singing to Rosanna, cleaning her bedclothes, bathing her limp body and reading her Bible stories.
After the first few visits, Terri cried all the way home. "Lord, I can't do this," she said. But she went back the next week, and the next.
"She's got to be an awful strong woman to be able to do that," said Christ King. "Some of the evenings that Terri is there, Rosanna has a rough time or cries a lot. You can't help but think about what happened and why she is like she is. I don't know that I'd be that strong."
The story has been a continuing saga of forgiveness and redemption. A few days after the shooting, a group of Amish from the Nickel Mines community visited with the wife of the shooter, just to tell her that they forgave her husband for what he did. The news swept the nation as a surprise of good news in a world full of pain and vengeance. After the shooting the Amish built a new school.