Once again, here we are. When I first heard the news of the tragic events at the Boston Marathon today, my first thought was of children. Today is a state holiday in Massachusetts, I remembered from living there, and all public schools are closed. This meant that scores of families would flock to Copley Square or other points along the marathon route to cheer on runners they might or might not know. Children who might be cheering on a parent, grandparent, teacher, aunt, uncle, friend. They would be soaking up the sun on this beautiful early spring day, perhaps dreaming of running this race one day themselves.
For those of you who have never been there, the Boston Marathon is amazing. The way the city of Boston comes together to support this famous race really makes you feel like you are part of something. While the crowds can be overwhelming, the history that precedes every staging of the race is palpable. For many runners, it is the ultimate accomplishment to qualify for and run Boston. It is a once in a lifetime experience for some, while for others it is tradition.
When I went online to check who had won the race this morning and saw that bombs had exploded near the finish about 4 hours in, I was overwhelmed with the memory of being there. The sadness I feel today is compounded. As a mother, the loss of an 8-year old boy is unbearable. A sweet, innocent child who was probably so excited to have the day off of school, to be with friends or family, gone. As a runner, the anguish is for the entire running community. Some of us run to make the world a better place, to make ourselves better, to heal. As a human, the unnecessary suffering, mental and physical, of those people directly effected is sickening and so hard to grasp.
Today’s events reach far beyond those directly effected in Boston, but touch the worldwide community, anyone with any iota of humanity. I don’t understand the world we live in today. I don’t understand the violence and hate. Frankly, I don’t want to. I want to pack my clueless, perfect boy into a boat and sail to some beautiful, isolated tropical island where his biggest problem will be staying out in the sun too long.
I used to think that I could help be a part of the solution, but today, I want to lace up my running shoes and run far away. I want to run far from T.V. and the internet and any other means of communication. I want to forget about 9/11, Newtown, Aurora, Oak Creek, Columbine, Jonesboro, Virginia Tech…the list could go on and on. Today, I don’t know what the solution is. I don’t even know where to start, except to resolve to keep running, holding my boy a little tighter and making sure I tell my people I love them. Hope you do the same.