In the Blink of an Eye

“ The Marathon, are you kidding me,” That’s what I wrote on my Facebook page as I watched the events unfolding on TV the day of April 15, Patriots Day. I felt the same way as I felt on Sept 11: that I must be watching some type of movie. This couldn’t be real, but it was real. In the blink of an eye everything changed for all of us, the Boston Marathon, an event that runners and fans alike look forward to every spring, was tragically altered by two monsters (what else would you call them). You may think and say to yourself, “This couldn’t happen here, not in Boston, and definitely not at the Marathon.” This isn’t just a worldwide event, it’s a family event where parents take their children. Not here, but here, but why? In the coming weeks, months and years, there will be many opinions on the why. This is just one more. We are all a little jaded here in Boston or all of New England for that matter. We’ve been fortunate, when it comes to certain acts of violence, to have been spared the spree killings that have taken place over the last few years, like school shootings. Not here. As far as terrorism goes, well, New York has to deal with all of that, not us. We all felt safe here, basically untouched by all the evil things we watch on CNN and all the other news channels. Then, just as we were all settling in for the holidays, the events in Newtown came. In the blink of an eye we were all shaken from our comfy places. We could no longer take things like sending our kids to school and having them come home safely for granted. It had been nearly four months since since the Newtown shootings. It happened, it was still fresh in everyone’s mind as the debate over the gun bill was going on. But, Patriots Day was upon us and so was the Marathon. It was a moment to get up early, watch the Red Sox and cheer on the runners. A time to kick back and just enjoy this beautiful spring day. And we were, until, when in the blink of an eye everything changed. I’m not going to even venture to guess what was on the minds of the brothers who did this. Why? They’re not worth the waste of pen; I won’t go eviscerating Muslims or their religious beliefs, but I will say that many I know don’t believe that Allah wants them to kill the infidels. In fact, they hate how people like the marathon bombers, Bin Laden etc… have twisted their religion. I’m not going to sit here and question the FBI and why they didn’t act on a tip from Russia about the older brother, because none of that matters now. What matters is what was taken from us and the victims of this senseless tragedy. In the blink of an eye the life of an 8 year old boy, whose only crime was standing with his family, was taken from him and his family. A young woman who lit up everyone she touched was snatched from her loving family. A bright, young college student left her homeland to come to school here in America, never to go home again. Not only have their families lost, but their communities as well. Those who lost their limbs are grateful for the heroes who ran into danger to rescue them instead of running the other way. But, their lives are changed forever. It is these people we should be concentrating on; being there for them, helping them heal, indeed, helping all of us to heal. Will this baseless act of evil change our way of life? Doubtful. We are Bostonians, New Englanders. Yes, for a little while we will be a tad shaken, we will look nervously at those who carry backpacks, we will shuffle cautiously in crowds. But, in time we will heal, somewhat. Summer is coming by mid-June. Kids will be out of school and, as always, we will be complaining about the Sox. We’ll celebrate the 4th of July on the esplanade with a little trepidation. And, soon after, it will be time to sit by the TV and implore Tom Brady to get us to another Super Bowl. The Celtics and Bruins will help us with our football hangovers, the holidays will come and go, and we will be forced to dig our way out of a couple feet of snow. Spring will once again be upon us, and we will gather for another Marathon as we always do, all in the blink of an eye.


—James Shearer





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