At A Loss

I’ve dedicated this post to current events, but I’m at a loss here. I have 2 different commentaries on this topic, but neither felt right to write about today. One is a topic about racial profiling, and I felt strongly about it but this isn’t the right platform or time to discuss that. Maybe Friday, maybe next week. Maybe a year from now. The other is just a blanketed commentary about terrorism on our home ground, which to me felt wrong because it is so soon and I never ever wanted to exploit a tragedy for my own purposes. Exploit might be a bad word, I have no ill will in posting about the tragedy but it feels wrong to write about something like this for your own personal profit. I struggled with this idea all day, but when it comes down to it I felt I needed to say something and will say it.

I remember watching 9/11, which obviously is no comparison to the true horror that event caused in our nation as nearly 3,000 people died. But I remember watching it, terrified about what happened. That was a war happening in our country, a place where we’ve always felt safe from outside horrors. It was a wake up call that the war can happen in our land, and that was unacceptable to us. We were shocked, our disbelief ruled us for several days even weeks after the event. I felt terror, I felt empathy for the victims, you’d be un-American if you didn’t. We were spectators to this.

Monday, we had news alerts on our phones telling us that there were bombs exploding in Boston after the marathon. My heart sank so low, I wondered where it went. I saw the hotel, a hotel I’ve stayed at and loved on the news. I remembered walking down that street to my first ever geek convention. I remember that Dunkin’ Donuts we got our morning breakfast at, and the chocolate store I drooled at as we passed by it. I remember hanging out in Copley Square. This was different from 9/11 to me, because I had an emotional connection and memory at the places I was watching on the television. This wasn’t just “our” backyard, this was “my” backyard.

Then my mind went to an even more horrifying place. My husband was working out East someplace, I couldn’t think of where. Was he in Boston? No, he said he wasn’t. I remembered a few weeks prior calling him, asking him if he wanted tickets to the Patriots Day game for the Red Sox, because we might have gotten our hands on them for him and our oldest son. No, he had to work and the people gave the tickets to someone else anyways. I sat biting my nails, my family on my father’s side lived there, my cousin on my mother’s side attends school there. I saw on Facebook that I knew people at the marathon there. A child died, a child not much younger than my own. It was horrific and disgusting and a dozen other words that I probably can’t write here.

We like to think of ourselves as safe; we’re really not. The catch is what we do with that knowledge: do we cower and hide or do we continue living our lives? The answer is we live. They say it all the time, and it’s true: the terrorists win if they cause us to fear every day. We learn from this, that we’re resilient and unafraid. We saw people more concerned about helping others than hiding in case something happened to them. We learned that American’s can’t be knocked down, and if we get knocked down, we stand right up and do what needs to be done. The terrorists won’t win because we’re not quitters, we’re not afraid, and we won’t let them control our lives.

Also related: My discussion about this topic and parenting.

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