Where were you when... the "Marathon Bombing" happened? Yesterday was yet another tragic day that we will remember forever as a life marker. Millions of people in Boston, across the country and around the world saw the repeating images of the horror and destruction as the day's events unfolded. Yet another day when many families' lives were forever shattered, unforgettable images permanently stored, innocence lost, and unbearable pain felt. The stories will be shared over and over and over.
Every generation is permanently branded by those "do you remember" questions. You remember those questions you asked your parents or grandparents when you were little. Some were real and actually happened during their lifetimes -- where were you during the Depression, when the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, or when JFK was shot.
Maybe it is from my perspective as a parent of teenagers that makes me feel as if these horrible events are happening more and more. They are starting to feel commonplace in terms of timing, but they never get any easier to digest or process. Oklahoma City, Columbine, 9/11, Aurora, Newtown, and Boston... how do we stop the madness? And we hold our collective breath waiting to know something about the perpetrators -- as if there could be any explanation for maiming innocent people, killing children whose only mistake was being outside on a beautiful day on the wrong street corner on the wrong day. And wondering (but not wanting to) where the next danger will come from.
I run through a mental checklist with each horrible event, and I did the same thing yesterday. I took attendance in my mind to keep track of family members, calling or texting (depending on their age) immediately. I texted my nephew who is in school in Boston, who went with a bunch of friends to see Marathon Monday. Thankfully, he was safe. I called friends whose children are in school there. I checked Facebook. I reached out to friends of friends and they to me. Our automatic reactions were to reach out and just touch the people in our lives. Many of us are suffering personally or know someone who is suffering.
How will our children mark and measure time in their childhoods? Memories of games won, schools attended, family occasions, Super Bowls watched -- the normalcy (if there is such a thing) and chaos of daily life. Or will their dominant memories be recalling the most specific detail of 9/11 and its horrific aftermath, images of the Iraq War or an underlying fear that they carry with them? My son came home yesterday and said, "I remember where I was when the Newtown shooting happened. And now I know where I was during the 'Marathon Bombing.'" When did "teaching kids how to deal with terrorism and violence" became such a big part of our modern parenting curriculum?
Sending love, prayer and hopes of healing to Boston and the community of those suffering.