Today’s tragedy at the Boston Marathon is devastating. Horrendous. Yet another awful act of hatred and terrorism unfolding before our very eyes and affecting our neighbors, our friends, families, colleagues and countrymen and women.
I, like a lot of you I’d imagine, am struggling with how to deal with this. I was at first shocked and bewildered, then aghast as I learned of the injuries and deaths, then sad – very sad – then thought, “How can I help?” – and then… Pissed.
I am so fucking pissed.
I am pissed because I have to yet again try to explain this world to my young sons who are afraid of the “bad guys” and who I continue to lie to when I say “Monsters don’t exist.” How do I explain these things to them – this time not just in the news but in their backyard?
I’m pissed because more innocent people lost their lives to blind haters. Including an eight-year-old-boy. That could have been my boy. Your boy. Your daughter.
I’m pissed because a great piece of my hometown was stolen today. A day that was ours – a day that made us proud because it represented who we are as a city. “Free and fiercely independent,” as President Obama described us.
I ran the Boston Marathon in 2010 and to cross that historical finish line was amazing. Nearly 5,000 people didn’t get to experience that amazing feat today. And that pisses me off as well. They deserve to cross that finish line. (You can read my ecstatic happiness from that day in my notes if you’re a Facebook friend.)
This marathon in particular – like New York – brings together people of different nationalities, backgrounds, experiences. I read that 96 countries were represented, coming together for “friendly competition” as the President said.
Marked and scarred forever by whoever did this.
And again my emotions vacillate between sadness, shock, anger. I have moments of feeling like I want to run away to a cabin with my kids and live off the land and protect them from the crazy people.
And then I am reminded that there are good people. More good than bad, we hope. A bunch of folks are posting the Mister Rogers “look for the helpers” quote and one of my friends challenged me to run the Boston Marathon with her in 2014 so “they can’t win.”
I was hoping to do that anyway (run in 2014) because I’ve been unable to run for months now due to recovering from shoulder surgery – and I was thinking Boston would be an awesome race to work up to over the next year. So I think I’ll let my anger – and my hope for mankind – fuel me to do that. When I cross that finish line, it won’t be for me. It will be for those lost today. It will be for the Spirit of Boston. It will be because I’m pissed – and I refuse to let the bad guys win. And I will cheer. Because I refuse to let evil win.