The falling flower
Raised a churchgoer in deeply religious Lancaster County, where churches far outnumber bars, Monville said she always enjoyed a close relationship with God, hearing his voice call to her, feeling his embrace during prayer and worship.
Even after the death of her firstborn, whom they named Elise, and a later failed pregnancy, Monville said she kept hoping that God held better days in store. But Charlie's faith faltered, and he shrugged off her pleas to talk to a pastor, counselor or friend about his deepening depression.
"He was angry at God, which I didn't realize in those days," Monville said. "I just thought he wasn't connected to the Lord in the ways I was. The harder I pushed, the more he withdrew."
Counselors later said that Charlie Roberts likely suffered for years with untreated clinical depression over the death of Elise, which led to a psychotic break with reality, Monville said.
"I did not know the man who went into the schoolhouse and did the things he did there," she said. "I did not know that Charlie."
Counselors told Monville that depression is hard to diagnose, especially when a sufferer is trying hard to hide it. "There were a lot of things I asked myself," Monville said. "How did I not see this? What are the signs I missed?"
Those questions didn't yield easy answers, just more difficult questions, she said: How could God allow this to happen? What should she tell her children? Would people hold her responsible for Charlie's actions? Could she rebuild her life in Lancaster?
The community -- including the Amish -- showered her family with gifts, meals and love after the shooting, Monville recalls. They said hello on the way to the bus stop, dropped by to see if she needed groceries, encouraged her to stay in Lancaster.
Still, Monville had always been a middle child, shyly hoping she could somehow escape the world's gaze. Now she was the center of attention, with news vans parked in her neighborhood and reporters prowling around her yard.
With her newfound notoriety came questions from strangers that made her skin crawl. Did Charlie have life insurance? How do you sleep at night knowing what your husband did?
In fact, Monville didn't sleep at night. She tossed and turned, grieving over her husband and the deaths he caused, and worrying about her children's future.
But with Scripture and prayer, in reaching out to God and hearing his reply in shouts and whispers, feeling his fatherly care in signs and wonders that people of lesser faith might take for coincidences, Monville said she found healing.
On the day of the shooting, after Charlie's frightening call, she saw a vision of God's hand catching a falling flower petal just before it hit the ground, Monville said.
And that's just what God did for her, she said, every time she faltered.
She saw God's hand when the Amish attended Charlie's funeral, when neighbors sent baskets of food, and strangers filled her mailbox with supportive notes.
Most importantly, Monville said, she felt God's strength when she had to tell her children that their father had made some very bad choices, and some people had died, and he had died, too.
"Over and over again," Monville writes, "(God) broke though my pain, revealed his presence, and restored my hope."
Along with hope restored came another miracle, Monville said: She no longer cared what other people thought.