Monday, April 15, 2013

Tragedy in Boston

My ex-husband ran the Boston marathon, more than thirty years ago. But I remember how hard he trained for it and how proud he was to be part of that iconic race. I particularly remember one Saturday morning when I told him our four children would be on TV that morning; he looked at me blankly and said, "I have to run." I realized his priorities and mine were different. I don't remember now what his time was--he was never ahead of the pack, generally in the middle. But to finish is an accomplishment.
Today one of his sons does triathlons and has run marathons and three of his children, two spouses and a grandchild recently completed a half marathon. This tragedy hit all of us, but those who live with marathoners and watch them train may feel it a bit differently. I am appalled that someone would hurt others on a day that runners came out to put their training to use and celebrate one of the oldest athletic events in our history.
I can't tell from the news or photos if many runners were hit. It looked more like the explosions went off in the crowds of spectators waiting at the finish line. But I heard that some runners fell to the ground. I also heard that some runners changed course and ran to the nearest hospitals to donate blood.
Perhaps the saddest note: an eight-year-old girl was one of the three killed. This in a race where the last mile was dedicated to the victims at Newtown. We have to protect our children, but what can we do when danger comes so unexpectedly, at an event where you'd least expect it. But then, the Newtown parents sent their children off to school with complete confidence in their security. We can't count on much these days, and we seem to reel from tragedy to tragedy.
A note so minor in comparison that it seems a shame to include it in the same post, but it reminds me of the people without good in their hearts who seem to surround us. Every morning when I read my email, I find two or three posts on the neighborhood newsline about garage break-ins and burglaries. The wrongdoers seem to bypass locked gates but give up fairly quickly if a garage is locked. My garage is empty except for my caar, and I have no lawn equipment; my gate is locked, but anyone can figure that out; I have motion detector lights. Elizabeth has taken her bike inside where it resides at the foot of her bed--doesn't do much for her d├ęcor I'm sure. It feels like we're under siege--waiting to see who will be hit next. Not a great way to live.
Neither is wondering if a bomb will go off when you go to a public event.  But I have a couple of philosophies--one is that you can't cower at home. Then the bad guys win. The other is that in the midst of a national tragedy and a local annoyance, we each must be grateful for our blessings. Lord knows, I am richly blessed, and I try to be grateful every day.

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