Both my sons ran in races from the age of about 5 on. My younger son is a college track coach. Many’s the time I put them at the starting line and then waited at the finish, trusting they would be okay. Sadly , our trust was betrayed yesterday by some insidious evil. I’ve spent the morning reading the sad story of Martin, the little 8 year old boy who was killed. He was waiting at the finish line for his daddy. His mother and sister were also there and are seriously injured.
When the blast occurred, many rushed to help. As upsetting as the bombing is, it’s heartwarming to see such action when the call to help sounded.
After a tragedy like this, it is so easy to put your head in a hole and think the worst. Sure, the worst is out there — that worst placed those bombs yesterday. But I think this quote sums up how I should feel instead.
The ocean of humanity is still helping today in the way of monetary donations, blood donations and offers of places to stay since many people have been displaced from their hotels in the crime scene area.
All this has taken me back to a trip to New York City my freshman year in college. The trip was sponsored by the Interfaith Council on campus and was to be a study of the relationship between religion and the arts. We visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lincoln Center and had a representative of NBC meet with us. Another excursion was a night at a Greenwich Village disco (this was 1970).
We’d been there maybe an hour, dancing and enjoying the music. I remember a mime had begun to perform on one of the stages around the room and I’d gone over to watch him. I was standing next to the stage and suddenly there was a loud boom. I was pressed against the stage by some force. I turned to look behind me and saw flames devouring the fabric, which hung over the wall. Someone helped me up onto the stage and we all exited through a back door, hustled down a flight of metal steps and waited outside. After a while our chaperones got us on the subway and back to our hotel. We learned a couple of students in our group had been injured, one seriously. He had been right beside the explosion, which turned out to be a pipe bomb planted by a member of an underground group. He survived, but not without permanent injury to his leg.
We asked if we should call home about it, but were assured something like this wouldn’t be in the local North Carolina papers. Oh how wrong they were. A group of small town college students caught in a bombing in a NYC disco is great news fodder, and the next morning I had a call from my mother wanting to know the details.
I didn’t realize til later that I had caught a small piece of shrapnel in the back of my left thigh. I didn’t tear my trousers but the small wound was there. And I still have a sort of scar. It looks more like a broken vein. You can see for yourself.
Can’t complain, especially when I read that many in Boston had to have limbs amputated. So I have a little scar? I still have my leg.
If you’re a praying person, say a prayer for Boston. It will take a long time for all involved to get over this. If you don’t pray, would you at least send up a caring thought?
And let’s all remember Gandhi’s reminder that the bulk of humanity is good and kind. Perform some random act of kindness today. Pay something forward. Let the world know they, like Blanche duBois, can still count on the kindness of strangers.