Frayed.

April 18, 2013 at 11:14 pm | Posted in And I ran (I ran so far away), Heartbreak | 14 Comments

At 2:50 on Monday, when a friend from my running club was not yet at the finish of her first Boston Marathon, two bombs went off. Her husband was badly injured in the second blast. Their three year old son, thankfully, was not badly hurt – likely due to her husband’s courage.

And while she was not yet aware of what was going on, still running her race, a photographer, capturing the images of all of the chaos and mayhem, snapped a picture of her terrified son.

And then he sold that picture to a national magazine, which chose his image for its cover.

It makes sense how few details she has released to us, her running tribe, about the whole thing. Why she took down her Facebook page. Why she isn’t answering phone calls or emails or texts. Why three of her best friends are running interference for her and imploring us all: “Please do not comment to the press.”

I cannot get past the fact that she stood on Charlesgate with all of the other runners while her husband bled and her son screamed… and a photographer took pictures. The mother in me screams in anger and grief.

None of this is okay. There’s NOTHING okay about it. There is no place that’s safe. Those fuckers took away my one safe place – running. They hurt one of my tribe. And I am frayed beyond belief today.

I stood in the cold tonight, after running 3 miles with a friend, then 3 more miles with my running club, then 1 more in tribute to the victims of the attack on Monday with everyone else in town.

And I lit a candle and I listened to a minister and rabbi talk about being Strong, because We Are Boston.

And I want to scream. The god I believe in doesn’t do shit like this to ‘test’ us. I don’t WANT to be strong if it means I have to sacrifice my husband and son.

So yeah. Today’s not a good day.

But I ran.

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  1. I will never understand how photographers can snap pictures in the midst of chaos and unspeakable horror. I will never understand how they can witness that and not put their camera down and try to help. I will never understand how they can look at a terrified child and see dollar signs. It’s sickening. I’m so sorry for your friend. That’s just so wrong on so many levels.

  2. Ugh. I’m so sorry. I’ll never forget the photographers running across the Brooklyn Bridge *towards* the city as those of us who’d been downtown stumbled our way to safety. I thought they were crazy or vultures, or both. It’s a different way of thinking about the world, that’s for sure.

  3. It takes a lot of courage for you to keep on going, especially after a tragedy of this magnitude had HIT so close.

  4. To add to the madness and profit. I wish healing for all.

  5. I am FILLED with rage on their behalf.

  6. Horrible. Sending positive thoughts to your friend and her family.

  7. They think they are doing a service, by informing the public of the news. I think they really do believe they are doing it for the greater good. But it’s so wrong. I don’t understand how they have the right to use a 3-year-old’s picture without his parents’ consent, anyway.

    I hope your friend’s husband makes a full recovery.

  8. I’m so sorry for your friend. A tragedy compounded by total disregard to privacy. How cruel — and the terror of that moment belonged to that child and that family; no one else was entitled to capture it.

    One of my neighbors went to college in Boston, and her sister and cousin live there. The cousin’s friend was in the marathon and lost her leg. So awful.

    (That same neighbor and I had just talked last week about how God does NOT allow bad things to happen in order to test us — there’s really no biblical support for that line of thinking. I don’t see how that cliche could bring true comfort or increased faith to anyone.)

    Thinking of you and your family this morning. I’m trying to imagine explaining all of this to I & N, especially the lockdown — that could be so terrifying.

  9. It is a sad commentary on our time that there is no respect for the youngest among us, their right to protection as minors or the right to the privacy of the family. I am sure that I know the photo and the magazine you speak of as there was much controversy when they decided to use the image on the on-line version of their magazine. I had no idea at the time that you were in any way connected to the boy and I am sad, enraged, angry and disheartened.

    We are all going to have to find our way to dig deep. I don’t believe in God or a god and, even if I did, he would not be behind the good or evil in the world although many do both bad and good things in the name of their god.

    The only way to stamp out darkness is with light. It is THE only way. Harboring anger and hostility only hurts the one harboring it.

    Even in light of all the tragedy this week and in the years post 9/11, I still believe that good people outnumber bad in exponential ratios. I have two young sons to raise and for their sakes I have to believe in that truth.

    Sending comforting thoughts out to you, your friend, and her family and all those who were directly and indirectly touched by the events that unfolded this week. The FBI has their man in custody now so it will be up to all of us to understand what happened here in order to learn from it and be comfortable moving about in our worlds.

  10. I am so sorry that they were so violated in their moment of terror … and that the media exploited it even further, despite the fact that they probably thought they were doing a favor by bringing the tragedy home to parents across the country. My heart hurts for them. Sending your friend, her family, and you much love and light and healing …

  11. Oh, wow. I am so very sorry for your friend. I have thought about the intrusion of the media during this latest atrocity (so awful we have to label it as such) and this drives the point home harder. I think Justine’s right about the motive, but that doesn’t make it OK. At all. I hope her husband recovers from his injuries. (((Hugs)))

  12. It’s so unethical for photographers to do such thg. I laud ur courage and it’s so disturbing to see the blast images. Hope the husband recovers from the injuries.
    Cheers
    Vishal
    http://www.vishalbheeroo.wordpress.com

  13. I’m very very sorry for your friend and family especially as I personally have suffered great loss caused by terrorist. But I fail to understand how what you are doing here is any different from a press photographer taking a photo. By sharing her story on your blog after she has asked you not to speak to the press is the same thing if not worse. I am reading this in the UK and was not aware of the magazine you refer to but could now easily find said magazine cover if I chose.

    I suppose I can’t get upset with bloggers when they blog about their private life and friend just like I can’t get upset with press photographers when they take photos of an international incident and publish them. That’s what they do. Perhaps your outrage comes from the element of profit as the press photographer made money out of the photo and you do what you do for free.

  14. My thoughts and prayers go out to this family and all of the others affected by this violence. Maybe I’m making myself sound kind of stupid here, but I’m surprised that the photographer/magazine didn’t have to get consent.


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