I have yet to watch a documentary about the events of 911. I can’t bring myself to see people desperately falling from a building. I have yet to watch a documentary about the Katrina disaster. I can’t bring myself to watch people perched on their roofs, or X’s on houses, or numbers indicating how many dead inside. I have yet to read an article about the Newton shootings. I can’t bring myself to absorb the words of families who no longer have the sweet luxury of kissing their babies goodnight. So I don’t know what compelled me to open the picture from yesterdays bombing in Boston, the one marked “Extreme Graphic Content”.
I won’t ever forget it.
There were people on twitter saying they would pray for Boston. There were people saying what about the places in the world where this happens everyday. There were people comparing one tragedy to another, as though the one they cared about was more important. I have an idea. Whatever your faith, your nationality, your homeland, your belief system, how about we all just “pray” for the good to outweigh the evil. How about we “pray” for everywhere in the world that sees these types of tragedies, whether its once a decade, once a year, once a month, once a week, or god forbid, once a day. In no way does a regular occurence of this magnitude somewhere else, detract from the fact that it has happened in Boston, in our backyard. On the contrary. It is a stark reminder that it happens, everywhere.
I think of the planners of the marathon and my heart breaks for them. As an event planner, I know the weight of what we put on ourselves before and during an event. I know the responsibility we load on ourselves, what the enormity of the entire event resting firmly on our shoulders feels like. I know they planned their security in the same fashion that they would have in the last few years and I know they were comfortable with that and I would have been also. I cannot imagine the grief and the guilt they would have been feeling after this happened. It is not their fault, but they will feel like it is. This I know.
I think of those runners. Those runners that trained for this, that live a healthy and likely busy lifestyle, doing what they can to prolong their lives, doing what they can to keep their hearts beating and blood pumping. I think of them as they ran that course, wondered if they were hoping for a personal best, hoping for a chance to beat last year, or hoping just to finish. I think of them and wonder, who will keep running? Who will cower and not enter another group run again, who will run the minute they can to help them work through it all, and who can never run with the power of their own two, fully functioning legs again. I think of them the most.
Running is such a personal thing. It can be a private moment you have with yourself. A time where you marvel at how YOU can shape your life, your body, and your mind. And I keep going back to that image in my head, the one I looked at and will always remember. That person, that person who went out for a run one sunny Monday in Boston, and I think to myself “I will run. I will run for you while you cannot. I will run until you can run again.”
We are lucky. We are not exempt. But we are lucky. We live in a great country and a wonderful city and no matter what people say about it to the contrary, we are lucky. And yes, I realize that up until yesterday I am sure those that live in Boston would have said the same thing. But as I sit and send my positive and healing thoughts up into the universe, I choose to put my faith into the belief that Mr. Rogers was right. That there are more helpers out there than not. That whenever bad things happen, you need to look for a helper because they will always be there. Where there is one person who is walking with evil, there are hundreds running to help.