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I’m not one of those people who jumps on the online “thoughts and prayers” bandwagon every time tragedy strikes. Mostly because I don’t pray, but also because it just feels so reflexive, so, “me, too,” as if if you don’t post something about it it’s automatically assumed you don’t care.
I’m also not the sort of person who turns other people’s tragedies into blog fodder. I know people in and around Boston, but no one I know was anywhere near the marathon, which is not to say they weren’t hurt. And which isn’t to say I wasn’t hurt.
My thoughts and my heart are with Boston and her people today, and I just need to write about it.
Other Days, Other Tragedies
I didn’t cry on Sept. 11. Or anytime thereafter about those events. I was working at the paper, which made it both more and less real. I wasn’t watching it constantly on TV (and social media wasn’t everywhere back then; the best we could do in the newsroom was constantly refreshing the New York Times website) yet by being the newsroom I felt like I was a part of it somehow.
I’ve never been to New York, but I’ve been to Boston. I spent a summer working north of the city and I visited a few times. I know those places. And I know those people, at least a little bit.
I know enough to know that the cliches about Boston are true. Its people are scrappy, salty, rough, tough, passionate, beautiful. Human.
Taking it Like a Mom
It’s different this time, too, because I’m a mom. I think about families going out to celebrate this day that is all about fun and togetherness (and, at its root, freedom, since Patriots’ Day marks the beginning of the revolution) that were literally blown apart.
I can’t imagine it.
And yet I know it happens all the time, all over the world. We’re incredibly lucky to live somewhere an event like this is so extremely rare.
I also know that darkness is only part of the story.
I know that people recover, after a fashion. I’ve seen the scar that was downtown Oklahoma City and the monument that rose from that horror of 18 years ago this week.
It’s not the same. It will never be forgotten. And yet the business of the living goes on.
For a few days at least we will hug our kids a little tighter, be a little bit nicer.
We send our hearts to Boston that we may all remember.