Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Boston Marathon tragedy -- one year later

On the one-year anniversary of that tragic day in Boston, I am once again reflecting on what happened. At the time, no one knew how many lives would be touched by the acts of evil... nor by the acts of heroism, kindness, and goodness. As with all tragedies, the best in people emerges in unexpected ways. For that, I am grateful. But it doesn't take away the sting of the venom permeating what started off as a beautiful day. Here is a reposting from last year; my reflections on a tragedy that affected all of us.

It started off as a beautiful day. And then, something went terribly wrong. 

Boston skyline by Bill Walker
From 3:00 on yesterday, I found myself unable to focus. I had to continue working on taxes so I could send in what was owed with my extension. But my mind and heart were with the people of Boston.

I am not a runner. My knees would never survive the stress. 

I've never attended a marathon. No one close to me has ever participated in one.

I've never been at the scene of a tragedy of this magnitude. I'm thankful for that.

But I do know grief. I know what it's like to have a loved one ravaged by a sudden explosion.

I do know what it's like to feel hatred in my heart for evil. I viewed the negligence on the part of Neville Chemical Company, where my husband was killed, as evil.

I do know what it's like to have my life turned upside down in an instant. Being widowed at 32 is not something one ever recovers from fully.

I couldn't pull myself away from yesterday's images. And I couldn't help remembering what it was like seeing the man I loved, my very best friend, laying in a hospital bed in the burn unit of West Penn Hospital, slowly fading away. He had third degree burns on 98% of his body and I can still recall the smell of his blood as it oozed off the sheets into puddles on the floor. I remember his face, void of a nose, lips and ears. I remember. I remember.

Yesterday, the memories resurfaced from their private rooms in my mind where I keep them tucked away. And I thought of all the others who were experiencing the same resurgence of memories. The folks in NYC, in DC, and in Shanksville, PA. The first responders, parents and teachers in Newtown. The people of Oklahoma City. The list goes on and on in this brotherhood and sisterhood of those of us who fight the devastation of memories of the unthinkable. The unthinkable that happened to us and to those we loved.

Today, I send my prayers to all of you... those with new wounds, and those with old ones. Those whose scars were opened up and bleeding again. In my heart, I am embracing each of you.

It started off as a beautiful day. And then something went terribly wrong.

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