I won’t start this entry apologizing for my lack of writing but I will say that recent events and personal feelings have been creeping up into my brain wanting to escape. I’ve got the day off today and am home with my love while he’s doing work and though it an appropriate time to get a few things done.
I suppose, just like everyone else, the bombings in Boston have been on my mind for the past week. I was still lying in bed when Matt called me (he was interstate) and asked about an old friend of mine who has run marathons in the past – where did he live? I said Boston and he told me what happened. I jumped off the phone and straight back on it to contact Laura who I knew would be working at one of the water stations; lucky for me I was able to get through to her right away and she had been at the 10 mile mark so a fair way away. She was still shaken – of course – but physically ok. My next call was Jimmi, the person Matt was thinking of when he told me, who also answered right away and was fine. Jimmi quit running marathons a few years back to the best of my knowledge, but of course I was still concerned. I felt better having reached those two then turned to Facebook to check in on my other Boston friends.
A few things about that particular morning really stood out to me. First was how thoughtful and considerate my love was (he always is!) to think about Jimmi – someone he has never met but knows is an important person to me. I don’t think you understand how much that meant to me, my love.
Another thing that made me feel a bit sad is that in the time of despair and worry I picked up the phone to call my friends; something that, because I live so far away, I just never do anymore. I think it’s a sad state of affairs and made me feel pretty crummy – what happened to my emailing and calling people just to have a chat and catch up? My email is now filled 95% with junk mail or CMU updates or Kayak web sales. Little to no correspondence comes through from a friend just saying “hi” – everyone assumes that everyone else is reading their updates via Facebook or their blog or however else. It made me realize I should look into getting a good international calling plan, as Matt and I have recently panned the idea of home internet because it’s just so expensive. We may change our minds about that, but for the moment I’m dependent on using his plug-and-use mobile internet doolywopper (which means he actually has to be home) or my work email or the library.
Most importantly though is that the bombings really shook me. I’m thousands of miles away and didn’t know anyone physically hurt by the attack, but I felt really sad. Tears welled in my eyes as I watched our morning news and I couldn’t shake the sadness all day. I know that more people die in earthquakes and avalanches (5 just today) and attacks overseas than were killed that day, so it wasn’t about casualties. It was feeling helpless and also the memories of 9/11. The general atmosphere directly after what happened in NYC affected our campus in Pittsburgh and it was eerily silent with people shuddering hearing a plane overhead in fear of what would happen next. I can only imagine how that feeling was compounded in Boston last week.
Not only was there all of that, but Boston is an amazing city and I hate hearing about historical places getting damaged. It could have been much worse, yet, but it really shouldn’t have been at all. I’m not placing the blame or saying security needs to be stepped up or any of that crap, it just saddens me that there is still so much hatred in this world – mainly from misunderstanding and blind prejudice – that these instances happen at all.
It leads to wonder, however – would there have been this much coverage if the attack had happened elsewhere? The London Marathon? A marathon in Australia? Because when you actually step off US soil you realize that we have it pretty good there overall – what you get in other countries but don’t hear about at home can be far worse. Does anyone outside of Australia know what happened at Port Arthur? Probably not, but everyone knows about Columbine. Have you heard about the recent earthquake in China that’s killed almost 200 people? Or the landslide in Brazil a while back that killed another few hundred people? It might appear in a 10-second clip on the news or page 8 in the paper, but I’m guessing the coverage doesn’t take precedent if it’s not close by or home-country travelers were affected. You know what they were reporting on about Boston after the first couple hours? They were assuring everyone that no Australians had been hurt. And while that’s great, I thought it seemed a bit… I don’t know… insensitive? Perhaps it wasn’t a time to focus on which countries were and weren’t affected but see it as a whole. I don’t hear about a tragedy overseas and go “oh well, as long as no Americans were hurt then it’s no big deal” because every single person who gets killed or injured has a family and their friends who are grieving for them.
And that’s what it comes down to. Thankfully only 3 people suffered the loss of life in Boston last week, but that’s three families who suffered a devastating end to what was supposed to be a celebratory day. That’s three peoples’ groups of friends who will have to celebrate their next birthday one friend short. Memories never to be recounted to new friends, boyfriends, kids… That makes me the saddest of all.
So go and enjoy each day. Pick up the phone or write an email and tell your friends you love them. Leave a Facebook message just because you were thinking of someone. Don’t let fear stop you from doing what you want and what you love.
Now I sound like a cheesy sympathy card. Basically I want you all to know – all 5 of you that read my blog- that I do miss you and hope you are out enjoying the wonderful day at your fingertips.
My next entry will be more chipper, I promise.
Much love and many hugs,
PS Thank you for a really wonderful day, my love. I know we weren’t up to much but just being by your side is all I ever need – now and forever. xoxo I love you.