We love you so much, Vineyard community


To the Editor:

Our family and the family of Ellie Hanjian have had a very emotionally and physically trying go of it since the morning of Sunday, April 27, when we were involved in a very violent automobile accident in Richmond, Virginia (April 29, “Community prays for Islanders injured in Virginia car accident”).

We were returning from just a beautiful week’s vacation of road tripping down South — visiting the Shenandoah Caverns in Virginia on Easter morning, spending a few days absorbing the Southern hospitality (and food) in Charleston, South Carolina, then spending much needed time with family in Southwest Florida — fishing, boating, and being generally silly and carefree.

Then came Sunday morning on our way home.

From the moment word got back to the Vineyard about what had happened, we felt your collective arms surround us (not to sound all dramatic or anything, but it’s true). We all sustained physical and psychological injuries, especially our beautiful, strong, gutsy warrior Ellie Hanjian. But with the love and support you’ve shown us — and continue to channel our way — our healing has begun and we will steadily progress. We are at a loss to completely convey the depth of gratitude we have for you.

We want to do some loving shout-outs to some folks who have been instrumental in our homecoming and our slide back into living somewhat normally: Vicky and Armen Hanjian, Joanne and Jeff Lambert, Joanne Cassidy DeRoche and Joel DeRoche, Chanda and Craig Decker and family, Tony Lombardi, the entire Weiland Clan (dogs too), the Shaw-Dawson family, Jeff and Jynell Kristal, Basia Jaworska Silva, Kristen Tidmarsh Araujo and family, the Sykes family, Rhonda Albert, Lynn Van Aulken and Eva Wilson, Ann Metcalf, the Thors Family, the Robinson Family, Melissa Aldeborgh, Laura Alexander, Stefan Knight, John Fiorito, Amy Lilavois, Mr. and Mrs. Richie Smith, Maddie May Scott and friends, Ann Davey and family, Patrick Best, Pearl Vercruysse, the Caron family, Dr. Judith Fisher and her awesome staff at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, our YMCA of MV family, our MVYRADIO family.

There are so many more who’ve reached out to us with their love and support that it’s downright dizzying (but so incredibly wonderful).

Thank you so much, Martha’s Vineyard. We have been blessed to be on the receiving end of such love and care from such kind and enveloping good friends and neighbors. May our strong, compassionate community continue to channel love and healing in our diverse ways, whether through prayers, dances, songs, poems, art, wishes, candles, crystals, readings, acts of kindness and any other way you feel, to Ellie Hanjian and her family, so we bring her home healed, happy and fully Ellie! We love you, Ellie, and your gracious family and we can’t wait to welcome you home into our arms!

Much Love,

Ray, Laurel, and Tessa Whitaker

Oak Bluffs