First, it's really scary. Like really scary. Scary that there are people that would attack something as noble as marathon (or as innocent as an elementary school). And it's hard to feel safe anywhere when you know that pretty much everywhere has the potential to be unsafe. But after watching hours of the live coverage--much of it being the video of the actual explosions on loop--my faith in humanity is a little restored. Because while many people ran away--many people ran straight towards the smoke to help. I love this quote that's popped up around the internet in times of tragedy...
And as the mother of small children (who are mercifully still too young to understand) this is the message I want them to remember. That there are people who are not helpers--but there are always more people who are crushed by tragedy and run to check in on their loved ones and do anything they can do to help. And more and more, as the mother of boys, I feel convicted to raise them in a way where they know that no matter what, hurting another person is not ok. Ever. As Finley starts to talk about "shooting bad guys" or making gun sounds, I have to think long and hard about how to gently raise him in a way where he knows that it's not something to be taken lightly. I love this Ted talk my friend Carrie sent me (ironically, shot in Boston). Every Ted talk is great, but this one has a unique perspective on raising boys. It's worth your time.
And what makes it harder is that the people running at that point in the race likely weren't running because they were fast and qualified--they were running because they were passionate about running and about a charity and raised thousands of dollars to be there. And the people hurt the most were the spectators--they were there because they were cheering for someone they loved. There's really no better people than marathoners or their supporters--this article speaks to it well. We felt it after the cancellation of the NYC Marathon--the runners coming together to take care of each other and their community. And I keep finding more heartwarming things--the lovely people of Boston putting together this spreadsheet to help people who need a place to stay. And one last article that I loved--from the husband of Katherine Switzer, the first woman to run Boston after trying to be forcibly removed from the course. The marathon is special.
So if you haven't already, hug someone you love. Thanks to everyone who checked on me--I suppose it was also by the grace of God that I didn't qualify for Boston this year and went the path of having baby boy #3 instead of running the race. I'm just so glad that the boys weren't there waiting at the finish for me--and that everyone I love in Boston is safe. Praying for the victims and that those responsible are quickly identified.