Making Sense from Senseless.April 16, 2013 at 10:15 am | Posted in And I ran (I ran so far away), Heartbreak | 9 Comments
Lucky and I came out of family swim time, him chattering away about swimming and how high he could jump; how well he swam all by himself yesterday. I helped him into his carseat, handed him his juice and snack, and casually checked my phone as I walked around to the driver’s side of the car.
Four texts, two calls, and a voicemail. And a CNN alert.
The texts: “Where are you?”
“You’re not running Boston today, are you?”
“Been watching the coverage and now 2 confirmed dead & 22 injured. Is everyone you know safe? My god!”
The panic I felt for my all my running friends, in that moment, was overwhelming. I couldn’t get Charlie on the phone. My running friend Jen, the one who was tracking the progress of so many, wasn’t answering her phone either. My MIL picked up the phone, but she didn’t have anything in the way of comfort to offer me. My SIL told me the details of what happened – the time and facts.
And when I was in between calls, Lucky requested, “Mommy, please tell me what happened.”
In the moment, I told him that there had been two explosions at a race – the race we watched that morning. That the explosion was something called a bomb, and it had hurt a lot of people – even killed some people. And that I was really worried for all my friends who were running in that race, and I didn’t know if they were okay.
I didn’t really think. I just reacted.
And over the next few hours, when I was on Facebook and my running board, breathing deeply with relief as all of my friends checked in and reported they were safe, I answered question after question from my son about what happened. He requested to see pictures of the bomb, and I showed him as much as I felt comfortable with.
Which, in retrospect, was too much.
At dinner last night, we focused on the helpers, like Mr. Rogers said. We talked about how amazing it was that people ran towards the smoke and pulled down the barricades to help people that were hurt. We talked about how Bear was GREAT at finding bombs and would help everyone he saw. We talked about how the police and the FBI have people who are called bomb technicians who are so smart that they know how to make sure that bombs don’t go off.
And he went to sleep just fine and slept through the night.
Charlie and I, however, did not.
It’s impossible to make sense out of something so senseless. I can’t even try.
This one hit so close to home, to my heart and soul, that I can’t breathe.
I am a runner.
And the people that were killed, injured yesterday? Were the SUPPORT for every runner out there. I wouldn’t have made it to the start of my own marathon if it weren’t for Charlie, my friends, my family.
And my son and husband could have easily been there; been part of the crowds cheering me onto the finish… been part of the chaos and terror inflicted yesterday.
They HAVE been part of my races. They were there when I ran my first half marathon; where Lucky drank my water after the finish.
They were there when I ran the Marine Corps Marathon; where, right after Charlie took his picture, Lucky stole my medal and wore it himself.
The fear, for me, is all consuming today. And I know, I KNOW, that this is the very definition of terrorism. Because, really – the term “terrorism” comes from Latin: ‘terror’, “great fear”, “dread”, related to the Latin verb terrere, “to frighten.”
The only thing that makes sense, for me, today, is to see my son and husband home, safely.
And then go for a run. A run where I can honor not only all the people in my life who have been my support system, the very foundation in my life, but also the others: the parents, the children, the brothers and sisters, the friends – everyone who was affected by yesterday’s events.
And maybe then I can start to make sense of it all.