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Heartbreak, and a Full Heart

April 22, 2013

Monday morning.  It has been a long week.

Boston.  I have so much going through my head about this, but it is like trying to catch rabbits with a butterfly net.  Mostly, my heart is broken.  I think I have cried more this week than I did in all of 2012.  It is so interesting to stand back to see how this is all handled by the humans.  How everyone wants to know WHY and HOW.  Especially me.  But something about the justification of motive doesn’t sit well with me on this one.  It is feeling like such a cop-out to be okay with the whole, “Islamic Extremist” theory.  Even if it is true.  Which it sounds like it is.

My heart broke first for the victims.  All those people celebrating an amazing feat of friends, family, and strangers.  They were there to support something hard that people challenged themselves to accomplish.  Not to mention the runners themselves.  They were coming off running for 26.whatever miles.  Why were these people targets?  Was it just because there were a lot of people gathered?  Was there something with the marathon itself?  Does it even matter?  It felt so much like 9/11 again.  And after the shooting in Newtown, it felt like another piece of our humanity fell from the Earth.

My heart then broke for the 19-year-old, shall I call him a terrorist?  Or just a messed up kid?  I heard the interview on NPR with a woman, Robin Young, who has a show on NPR whose nephew is friends with this kid.  She hosted the prom party at her house.  He was there.  She knew him.  This interview twisted my heart like a sponge.  He was “a normal kid”.  Bright, popular, fun.  After hearing this I couldn’t write him off as just another “Islamic Extremist”.  This complicated things.  A lot.

In the midst of people condemning him, which…they SHOULD, right?  I should too, shouldn’t I?  All I can think of is WHAT HAPPENED?  How can a “normal kid” who had many diverse friends and was happy, and popular…FUN in a truly American sense end up hurling bombs at police officers?  I kept thinking about Robin Young and her nephew, and all his friends, they are grieving for the “terrorist” as well as the victims.  I guess I am too.

Next, my heart filled while listening to the radio and hearing of the whole city of Boston being shut down for the entire day on Friday.  The personal accounts of people seeing the SWAT team in their yards guns drawn were eerie and scary and kind of like a really good movie.  Only it was real.  And happening.  I sat later that night watching the celebration in the streets of Watertown with tears running down my cheeks. I am so proud of our country, and how law enforcement handled this.  So. Proud.  And when I saw that 19-year-old boy lying on the pavement, I was happy he was caught, but I still felt sorrow for a life of potential wasted.  I hope we all get some answers.  And I hope he dies of his injuries now.  If he lives?  I shudder to think of what his future holds.

Did you see the Boston Bruin’s national anthem clip from Wednesday?  I bawled through that too.

I hope this is the last killing spree we have.  I fear that it is just becoming commonplace.  I don’t understand it.  I don’t know how to stop it.  I guess I need to take advice from Glenna at Momastery:

“Here is the World.  Beautiful and terrible things will happen.  Don’t be afraid.” -Frederick Buechner


  1. April 22, 2013 1:12 pm

    Love wins, indeed. And like that Mr. Rogers quote says, loosely paraphrased, that goes around the webs every time something like this happens: look for the helpers. They are ALL AROUND YOU. And guess what! You’re one of them :)

  2. April 22, 2013 1:13 pm

    Why, why do I have to login when I want to comment on your blog? Argh. I always forget the password!

  3. April 25, 2013 12:00 pm

    I am still trying to wrap my head around this one too. Breaks my heart.

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