Boston Marathon Tragedy

What words can we even say?

So much has already been said and frankly, the words I’ve read, what limited words I have read, have been such good ones, so vivid, that I had to stop reading.

I didn’t even hear about it until dinner time on Monday because I was working, then with the kids at the dentist, then visiting my grandmother. On the drive home, talking with my husband about his day in Washington, D.C., he mentioned being mesmerized with co-workers “when Boston happened.”

And that was how I found out.

It’s the kind of thing you don’t really process when it happens. It’s jaw-dropping, and the thoughts cycle through your mind – bombs? this doesn’t happen in America. who would do such a thing? is everyone ok?

People feel the need to talk about it and focus on it but I had the opposite response – shut it out, pretend it didn’t happen. Which I don’t really mean, of course, but it’s just so awful that I can’t quite take it in.

And then I realized I had a friend who runs the Boston Marathon every year and I wondered if he was ok. So I called his cell phone, called his wife, texted his friends, until I heard from him that he was fine, but everything was in lockdown, everything was horrifying.

He came home safely, thank God.

All I can say is that the very concept of a marathon – slow and steady wins the race, gradual build, endurance, perseverance, all the words and notions that accompany marathon running – are so profound in this context.

The war on terror – it’s a gradual build, a slow and steady process to come up with a solution that once and for all eradicates craziness and horror like this.

When 9/11 happened, I was pregnant with my first child and teaching college English. After the Twin Towers were hit, a student ran up to me and said, “A plane crashed into the Pentagon!” 

I remember thinking it was such a ludicrous idea, that it couldn’t possibly be true.

“We don’t know what is truth at this point, so let’s not spread this until we have confirmation,” I told him, expecting, hoping, praying it to be untrue.

We know, of course, that the unfathomable actually did happen.

It happens all the time, unfortunately. What we think can never be unfolds before our eyes.

Still.

I believe that if we live a life in fear, if we discuss what-ifs and refrain from going places or doing things or taking chances, terror wins. Crazy wins. Ugly wins.

And instead, if we cherish life and realize its preciousness every moment of every day, if we wake up and thank God for the sun or the rain or the cold or the warm, for the milk in the refrigerator and the children at my table and the car that takes us to school and work and the ability to walk and the phone call from my sister and the many, many, many things throughout each day that are gifts, then we win.

Then good wins.

Then right wins.

Slow and steady wins the race. And we are here to endure, to reach milestones and surpass them, to run the marathon – not sprint to the finish line.
 

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