today we will do something

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The blasts, which killed an 8-year-old boy and two others, marked a grotesque end to what should have been a celebration of triumph.

At least 144 people were hospitalized, with at least 17 in critical condition and 25 in serious condition, officials said. At least 8 of the patients are children. 

– CNN News

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Katie was sobbing. She just wanted to know why. Why would anyone do this? What on Earth would they get out of hurting other people? Out of KILLING a child? WHY?

I told her that I can’t explain evil. That there’s no logic, no rationale that can make sense of it. That there are some people in the world who hurt other people. That there is no answer that will satisfy her.

But that ..

No, she said. No buts. You go to the movies, you get killed. You go to school, you get shot. You go to watch the marathon and you get blown up by a bomb. What is WRONG with this world?

I told her that we couldn’t live in fear. That evil can’t win. That it’s okay to be afraid, that it’s okay to grieve, but that we also have to remember how much good there is in the world. That, like Mr. Rogers taught us, when evil strikes, we have to remember to look for the helpers — for the spectators taking runners into their homes, for the first responders running TOWARD the blast, for the doctors and nurses who happened to be running veering straight into the stands to help, for the hundreds of people showing up to give blood.

She was angry that I had taken her phone. That I’d insisted that we turn off the news. It was too much, I told her. But I have to KNOW, she said. I told her that there was no new news. That all they were doing now was tripping over each other to make their reports the most graphic, the most sensational, the most disturbing. That we would check the print news in the morning, but until then, it was time to shut it down. It was too much.

She wasn’t satisfied. I’m stronger than you think, she said. You are the strongest person I know, I told her. But you’re 12. It’s too much. I’m 42 and it’s too much for me. By a lot. We live in a world where news comes at us unfiltered, uncensored. It’s our job — my job — to act as the filter.

I can’t just sit here, she said. We have to DO something.

I promised her that in the morning, we would brainstorm and figure out something that we could do to somehow help, or, at the very least, to honor the memory of the victims. I don’t know what, but something.

Her dad should have been running that marathon. Her mama was in her office just blocks away when it happened. Family friends were on Boylston Street, both running and watching.

And her innocence was there in the stands, with those who did not survive the blasts.

Yes, today we will do something.

And we will remember to look for the helpers.

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Love and heartfelt prayers to the victims and their families, and endless gratitude to those who ran in to help. 

18 thoughts on “today we will do something

  1. I wish the “helpers” could get the same 24-hour news coverage and attention as the horrible things will get. People do beautiful, selfless things every day, especially when tragedy strikes, but these are so often passed over in favor of the scary stuff. We need the reminder that there is so much GOOD in the world too.

  2. We are feeling the effects all the way down in FL. My brother-in-law has friends who had flown up to run (they are ok) and when I went out to get the mail my neighbor was still trying to get a hold of her running group that had gone up to run. She was so worried, she could hardly talk to me. My heart and prayers are to everyone up there. God bless those people who were brave enough to help and not be afraid. It is such a shame.

  3. There are no easy answers. I have been trying my best to not let my own children hear about it, because I just don’t have answers for the questions they will ask. I am originally from Boston. All of my family is up there. So many of my friends are there. So many would have normally been there watching yesterday, but by the grace of God, most ended up working or having other plans. I am so glad that you and your family are safe. We are all praying for those who were affected.

    I love Emily’s idea of the Walk for Hunger. I grew up in the Church that started that walk, and used to look forward to it each year. Start a pledge sheet, those of us who can’t make it up can pitch in. It’s something….

  4. You’re handling this the only way you could. It was too much for anyone to process much less Katie at 12. You’ll figure out something you can do today. Of this, I’m certain!

    I love you,
    Mom

  5. Hug your girls today! Your Katie has a big heart and so does her mom. I am happy for you that Luau was not running! I cannot understand and never will be able to understand senseless acts of violence.

    Blessings.

  6. This is how many Israelis live daily, not knowing what act of terror might come their way. Oh, this world of ours. I agree, though, that we must not live in fear but by faith.

  7. The thing we can do is show others love and kindness. Is open our hearts, and in cases of those in Boston who housed marathon runners, our homes. We can be good listeners and friends. We can step up and lend a hand. We can restore faith in this world by helping others in ways big and small and being those responders who offer care and kindness.

    “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    We can offer love and light, and hopefully that will help make the world a kinder place in the future.

  8. Well, the best thing is not to jump on the conclusion. And, you have done the best thing… I utterly agree with you completely, first we need to filter the news. It’s a must.

  9. Yes, yes, yes and yes. I was so relieved to find out Luau wasn’t running. I too have a kids who wanted to “know more” but I had to limit the info. (And I wrote about that, too.) I am so tired of having to try to explain the unexplainable to him. Time and time again. Hugs to you all.

  10. I’m still numb. I cannot believe that this has happened once again so I can only imagine how Katie’s mind is racing. You have done the right thing and been her filter. Its an unfortunate part of our lives it seems, but we need to protect their innocence as best we can.

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