“It was a bright morning. I turned to smile at the person who made life feel like a dream come true. It was a tough year so far and all our money had gone towards mom’s medical bills. Me losing my job didn’t help and with the scarcity of opportunities for someone with average education, it had been challenging. Some days were better than others. Today was one of those better days. My kid had Autism. Therapy was a little expensive but worth it. We were going to participate in a local event. As a family. We hadn’t done anything, the three of us together, in a really long time. I was excited.
We figured too much breakfast might not help us during the day and stuck with juice. The house was abuzz with laughter. Hope was just beginning to resurface. We held hands as we walked to the venue.
The crowd gathered and the little one sighed with impatience. Finally, we heard the voice say, “3.. 2.. 1.. Go !” And we began to run. As fast as we could, laughing and giggling. We almost looked like the perfect family and my heart swelled for I had a very rough and unstable upbringing. But here we were. A new wave of energy took over me and it felt amazing. It was almost as if this was an indication that we were going to move forward. Not just in this race but in life. We were going to run through it with smiling faces just like this. The good times were here. I turned to my left and grinned.
I’m lying on the ground. I feel suffocated. I hear voices but I can’t make out what they’re saying. I hear a cry but I don’t know where it’s coming from. I want to get up but I feel like I’m tied down. I can’t speak. My kid..My little baby.. I can’t think as pain takes over every part of my body. I want to see what’s around me and I will myself to get up. I struggle as I push myself up and almost instantly regret it. I’m surrounded by smoke, blood, death and tears. I find the point of pain in my body. I see the bone poking out of my right leg. Fear washes over me. My family.. Where’s my family.. I have to find my family.. I look around like a mad person, screaming their names. I’m starting to feel frantic. Panic is the only emotion I feel. Tears run down my face. I try hard to focus on every voice I hear to see if I can hear theirs. I turn around trying to spot them and I almost missed it. Sometimes, I wish I had. Because there, lying beneath a pile of people and a lot of blood, is the love of my life holding on to my child. I went numb. This can’t be.. It can’t happen.. It’s not them.. It shouldn’t be them..”
They say “a certain group has taken responsibility for the incident that led to the death of so many innocent people.” I hate it when they do. They’re shedding light on a bunch of people that shouldn’t be acknowledged as human beings.
This post is a struggle to write as I constantly battle between rage and logic.
Everyone has a past. We all lose loved ones. But we don’t wake up one morning and think to ourselves, “Oh I’m pissed beyond reason. I need to blow up a few buildings and kill a couple of hundred people.” There has to be an underlying reason and an amount of mental instability behind behavior like this that I feel like we’re missing. Everyone is capable of kindness. It’s just a little difficult for some in comparison to others. But no matter what the trigger, revenge is not the answer. Especially if your revenge does not involve the person(s) you’re actually offended by.
“If you release this movie, we will bomb the theaters.” – Does this sound normal to you?
I’m not the nicest person in the world. I don’t care if two people hold a grudge and want to slaughter each other’s heads off. Their consequences are theirs to face. But I would like an explanation as to why the world deems it ok to use people who have absolutely nothing to do with the process as bait?
And if that’s not ok, why are we still not doing something about it?
Blood cannot be avenged by blood. I’m not a Gandhi person. I don’t believe that if someone slaps you, you show them the other cheek. I also don’t believe that I can only come to peace with it by slapping them back. Because if you do exactly what they did, you lose the ability to pinpoint, for at that moment, you’re simply staring at a mirror.
“The one way to combat the sad and terrible things we see is to bring just a little bit of kindness into the world”
– Ben Affleck, PCA 2015
I might not have the perfect definition for what kindness is but I do know it does not involve ruining a stranger’s life. No matter how bad it gets, there’s always someone willing to listen, willing to help.
You will never stop an explosion by creating another one.
And to the ones that walk away without caring because you believe that it will never be you, I’m sure there was someone out there who thought that too. Until the fiction written above became their reality.
Inspired by Rebekah Gregory, Boston Marathon Bombing survivor.