I have gone to my iPad many times to write since last week's bombings in Boston. I had decided to close my computer and not write until my thoughts and feelings were processed, since I never draft and just type from the heart. Over the course of the week, I had read status updates and news articles on the heinous event. I had talked to friends who were there at the finish line and who are forever changed physically and/or mentally.
So many of us watching the news from Boston last week on our televisions felt as we did on September 11, 2001: stuck waiting for an answer, waiting for some kind of relief. Finally, after two days, I turned off the television as quickly as I had turned it on when my father called with the news. I thought watching the same terrible story repeated over and over was unhealthy on all levels; I felt brainwashed with fear. I was not going to let the ugliness of this world cripple me for another second. Wanting to be informed and whole-heatedly caring about the victims and their families, I thought social media might be able to sate my hunger for information while interjecting humor and pictures from other friends and family across the country. Ahhh, there it was! My fix, my dose of positive inspiration. Pictures of people united, people singing, words of encouragement and revenue already being raised. Scanning through the feed like I was looking for the golden ticket, I read a friend's post. It went something like this:
The ever-powerful, self-determined man looked at his daughter with a stern calmness and asked her to stop running in races that attract large crowds. The strong-willed, determined daughter looked at her father with reverence and replied, as to shout from the depths of her heart, NO!
Now, there is a father that should be proud! I laughed reading it, visualizing the father's look, knowing that I too, was this kind of daughter; the kind that causes extreme difficulty while growing up discovering the power of her voice. This post stayed with me all week. Today, I see that it was this kind of perseverance that founded this country, which has bred leaders, that has evoked change. NO! We will not be pushed around, bullied, terrorized. Not by an international or a home-grown threat. Not by the kid on the corner at the bus stop or by our televisions. We are stronger, wiser and have more heart! We will keep running! Running towards dreams, running towards love, and if you are like me, running towards open doors and opportunities. Thank you, Jenna Guilbeault, for saying "NO!" so loud and strong.
As tears were shed in the Northeast, all over the world there was suffering, there were people dying because of similar evils. What stung so much about April 15th was the symbolism of the day. The essence of celebration in the air ringing through a proud crowd. The Boston Marathon is an internationally renowned event. It is a feat to finish that requires tireless training, dedication and determination. It also requires commitment and heart to run selflessly for another; for a cause. Raising money throughout the year; planning, investing, hoping. Nicole Bedard did just that. In 2013, she was on her way to run her best marathon to date. Having seven official Boston Marathons behind her and her team raising over $70k for Boston Children's Hospital, she finds herself grasping for answers that she may never get. But that does not stop her will. Her spirit is not broken. She will run again! I am willing to bet 2014 will bring the most runners to date, as well as the most money raised. I have heard interviews with victims and their fortitude is envious. In the end, this attack will have moved mountains.
Steve Chamberlain is no stranger to moving mountains. He was an amputee several years ago and his lost leg did not hinder him from attaining things at big heights. s the founder of 50legs.org, he has vowed to help 50 kids get prosthetics. On April 15th, he also reached out to victims and offered a hand and a leg. He is committed to help each victim get a new leg, a prosthetic one. But more importantly, I think Steve is delivering a lot more. He is their angel of hope, a dream of a better tomorrow, a glimpse into the future knowing that everything will be OK!
There are good people in this world! But we can only determine beauty and greatness by having a comparison. I whole-heartedly believe we are all here for our OWN purpose. I do believe that even bad is meant to bring a greater good; something we may not understand for years to come. We must be stronger, smile and dance. We cannot stop living, being, doing. There is so much beauty in this life! So much AWESOMENESS, right, Kid President? If we allow ourselves to become paralyzed with fear, then they have won. We have once again been united under vicious attack. We, the people, have proven to be a beautiful picture of what America was founded for and what it still stands strong for. It is because we will risk our own lives to save others, we will lift others when they fall, and we will be the light for others when it is dark. We have shown that we are strong, Boston Strong!