At 2:50 pm yesterday, Big Man and I were sitting on a park bench in the sun, watching Ladybug and Little Man run around a local park. In that moment, all I could think of was how innocent they both seemed, running, laughing, and playing in the sun. Now, all I can think of is the innocent eight year old boy who was taken from his family at that moment. Waiting for his dad to finish the Boston Marathon, he must have been so excited. Now his mother and sister are being treated for their own injuries while they mourn his loss. What an awful thing for a family to suffer through. It breaks my heart just thinking about it. Ladybug is eight and she has so much living left to do.
It has been a long four months. Yesterday’s tragedy in Boston comes four months and one day after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Ct. In fact, the 26 mile marker at yesterday’s marathon was a special marker, dedicated to the 26 people who lost their lives at Sandy Hook on December 14, 2012. Many of the Sandy Hook victims’ family members were in Boston for the marathon yesterday. How awful for all of them to have a front row seat to more devastating violence. It has all been awful for all of us. Some of us have just been lucky enough to be further removed.
And that’s all it is. Luck. That’s a terrible, scary thought, whether you’re a child or an adult. Awful things happen, and we’re lucky if we are able to get through life escaping them. Even if we escape the awful things in life directly, they still affect everyone on some level. I have permanent images attached to the memories of where I was and what I was doing on September 11, 2001, on December 14, 2012, and April 15, 2013. It is impossible to forget the tragedies that have occurred and the lives that have been lost. There is nothing trivial about any of these incidents. But I also have memories of the images of firefighters carrying people out of the rubble and away from the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001. I will never forget reading about the principal and the teachers who gave their lives protecting their students on December 14, 2012. In fact, I tear up every time I think about them. And I will never forget the images of the first responders tearing the fencing down along Boylston Street to get to the blast victims yesterday.
We can’t ever forget our victims. Their losses are wounds that are deep and painful. Patriots’ Day in Boston is an iconic day that will forever be changed. But there are amazing, heroic people among us. The best way to move forward is to remember them as well and to teach our children to do the same. They give us hope and we all could use a little bit of that.