one week later

IMG_5753i arrive at my office this morning and sit down at my desk.  i stare at my inbox.  predictably, i couldn’t concentrate.  today marks one week since the bombing at the boston marathon.  the first business day after the city was in lockdown.  i decide to go for a walk.

it was a beautiful, cool day in boston today.  i walk to the makeshift memorial, not far from the finish line of the marathon, which is still blocked off to the public.  i stare down the empty street, thinking of how it feels to cross the finish line of a marathon.   i think of my daughter, who has been a spectator at many of my races since her infancy.  i am honest with her about everything, sometimes to a fault.  and she is very aware of what happened last week.  her question, over and over, “how could someone want to blow up people after they’ve run SO far?”  there is no response, of course.

today, on the news, they talk about getting answers; the need to hear why these two brothers would want to crush the spirit of our city and destroy lives.  this annoys me.  what answer could he possibly give that will be satisfactory?  none.  there is no justification.  the question that continues to roll back and forth in my head is how.  not how, from a logistics standpoint, but how people could be filled with so much fear and hatred.  how does that happen?  how does someone have so much turmoil inside that they want to produce so much violence around them?  how do i try and explain this to my daughter, while i bust my ass everyday trying to teach her to see the good in people?  and how the hell does the day like we had in boston happen all over the world all of the time?

i walk back to my office, eyes brimming with tears.  and only then do i realize the same song had been repeating over and over on my ipod.  “the future has got me worried, such awful thoughts.  my head is a carousel of pictures.  the spinning never stops. . . i know i should be brave. . . it’s too hard to focus through all this doubt. . . now i wait for a hand to lift me up, help me stand. . . but if everything that happens is supposed to be and it is predetermined, can’t change your destiny.  then i guess i’ll just keep moving. . .”

later on the afternoon, i leave my office again and walk to the state house for the moment of silence at the time the bombs went off last week.  i have faith beside me (literally.  my friend’s name is faith) and i see all these people and i feel it.  the sadness, yes.  but also the perseverance.  the kindheartedness.  the positivity of a grief stricken community coming together.  i listen to npr, and hear the voices of adrianne haslet-davis and adam davis.  again, my eyes fill with tears.

i have a nice, quiet night with my daughter.  we finish reading a book, the tale of despereaux, a book about forgiveness, light and love.  i kiss her goodnight.  i am comforted by the fact that with all that i have experienced, one of the biggest lessons that i have learned is gratitude.  not just being grateful, but to show that gratitude.  every day.  not just when we are hit in the heart with bad things happening.  but regularly.  hug hard.IMG_5765-001

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4 Comments on “one week later

  1. Yes and yes and yes. And, Beckett and I are reading Winn-Dixie. Xo

  2. I found some solace this weekend in my church community where we prayed together and hugged each other tight and reaffirmed our belief in love and goodness and one another. And we sang about joy.

    After I said goodbye to you I caught up with an older woman wearing a 2013 Marathon jacket. I put my hand on her shoulder and just told her I wanted to greet her and let her know that I was there with her. She smiled and told me she didn’t get to finish the race. They stopped her before she got there. She was there on her own, but I don’t think she felt alone.

  3. I love this Colleen. You are such a thoughtful person (and a great writer!) Thank you for speaking your heart. I love hearing your thoughts.

  4. Thank you Colleen for your words. They are helping me. I continue to suffer the pain of 12-14-12. Every day I try to make sense of this world and ask why. Life moves forward but we never forget. I was excited for my opportunity to volunteer this year for the Mile 9 water stop. It was a beautiful day and i quickly realized that I was not just handing out water I was a cheerleader for all of those inspirational people. I handed Bill, the man who was shocked to his feet right in front of the blast, a cup and yelled “you go grandpa you are looking great”! I couldn’t help but hug a women with a Newtown shirt for her courage. I had tears in my eyes at times when runners would yell “Thank you – you all are the best”. The joy was there amidst all of the pain that people were struggling with to reach their goal. You could see the challenge in their eyes. As we handed out the last cups and the last few passed us I admired them all. In some way I felt connected to all of them. Little did we all know that we would not be reading about the winner on the front page of the Globe the next morning. Now the wound is fully open again and I don’t think it will every totally heal. On Monday, at 2:50, I stepped out on the front steps of my office in Hartford just as I did on 12-21-12 for the moment of silence. I was there with a friend wearing my volunteer jacket in their honor. I too have found solace in my church community. I became involved with a newly formed advocacy committee that we formed to support ending violence. We organized a community forum on gun violence awareness and all the other issues that go with it. we are trying to educate and bring our community back to the basics of being gratefully for each other. Now it all takes on an additional meaning. I will continue to fight for the cause, help to educate and live each day being grateful for all of the people in my life – even if I have not met them personally yet.

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