Monthly Archives: April 2013

Worry & Images: Thoughts on Boston

 

As I write tonight, I definitely have a heavy heart for those impacted by the tragic events associated with today’s Boston Marathon. When one of my third grade daughters came in our room post-bedtime tonight asking to sleep by us, I didn’t hesitate to say yes and keep her close. At this point, we haven’t talked to our kids about what happened and she seemed a bit surprised at my quick response. My thoughts have ranged from sadness for the loss to anger for senselessness to hope as we see those who respond and do good in the midst of such horrific, violent acts.

These shouldn’t be our worries…

Just a week ago Friday I was with my 5th grade son at his first official junior high event, his beginning band appointment. He went from seeming like a big kid…my oldest…to a little guy again as we walked into the junior high. I was so excited to see his enthusiasm, yet said some prayers for his courage, good decision making, and the hopes of good friends and good staff as he grows older. I think about the kids getting older, learning to drive, going to college… These should be my “Mom worries”.   In the past year, however, we’ve seen places like elementary schools, movie theaters, and, now, an athletic event turn into nightmares.

These shouldn’t be anybody’s worries…

Just yesterday at church, our pastor shared the story of Lopez Lamong, one of the Lost Boys of the Sudan who has grown to be an Olympian. His story starts when he’s a 6 year-old child taken by rebel soldiers. 12 years ago, when I was a 6th grade teacher, my student, Lum, couldn’t understand the magnitude of 9/11 because he and his family had been run from their home and their life in Kosovo through violent means; violence was his reality.

Be mindful of images…

Like many, I couldn’t believe today’s news as it unfolded in Boston. I’ve competed in the Chicago Marathon once (Well, competed might be a strong word 😉 ) and been a spectator numerous times as friends and family have taken the challenge to run. I’d agree with commentators I’ve seen throughout the day that few places are as motivating as a marathon. We see people from all walks of life accomplish something great. We think we can accomplish something great, too. As a mom to two Ethiopian-born daughters, I’ve pointed out the Ethiopian flag and talked to them about the champions from such events over the four years they’ve been with our family. Marathons are amazing events where people that don’t even know each other come together to cheer and encourage; if you’re in Chicago, you can even catch a really good Gyro at mile 16.5.

In messaging with Lauren Mazza tonight, though, the horrible images from the media really stood out. Just weeks ago, large media outlets refrained from replaying Kevin Ware’s hoops injury en route to a Louisville championship, citing respect for the athlete and his family. Today, though, graphic, alarming images were shown repeatedly from the scene in Boston. These people, too, are someone’s son, daughter, mother… We have to consider that. Recently, I was struck by the images from an Illinois school bus accident, and, just today, a car accident in our community. I lost my own grandparents in a car accident when I was 16, and I frankly don’t want an image from that scene to become the lasting image in my mind. I hope people in media will consider that. I hope that the power to portray the good in people eventually prevails.

I know that while days like today can fill us with worry and sadness, they can also inspire us to do better on behalf of those who no longer have that opportunity. Let’s try to share the good we see in the days that follow and in the other unrelated bright spots of our days. I owe that to my Tessa, who is taking up 2/3 of my bed right now as she safely sleeps. We all owe it to each other.