I woke up this morning with a smile on my face. It was the last day of radiation. No more having my face squished in a plastic mask that makes me look like I have a plastic bag over my head. No more debilitating fatigue. No more planning my entire day around that mid-day appointment. I was at the top of the hill and it was smooth sailing from here.
Then the news came on, and just as I was getting up to leave for my appointment, the breaking news story came on and I, like many others, was rooted in place, mouth agape, heart broken for so many people.
Marathons are a HUGE deal. People train for months, if not years, to run in a marathon. People do multiple marathons in an attempt to qualify to run in the Boston Marathon. It is one of the hardest to get into. (Seriously, how does my fat lazy butt know this information?) Anyway, people plan and train and reaching the finish line is a moment of pure exhilaration, joy, exhaustion, peace ... no one thinks it will be one of terror. And today, that finishing dream was shattered when someone took it upon themselves to place bombs around the finish line area, taking out spectators, runners, and whoever else could have been nearby.
As a people, our quiet peace is once again turned upside down. Yes, even in this horrific economy, the political battles for gay marriage rights, gun control, who's better democrats or republicans ... we still have peace. We live in a land where we can make our own choices, can decide where our lives are going to take us, speak our minds about anything we want, and live without fear of bombs falling from the sky, suicide bombers crashing into buildings, food becoming something we can only dream about. We have it very good here in this country. And, today, that quiet peace was destroyed once again.
However, something rose from the ashes and burst from the smoke. America's humanity. Runners who crossed the desecrated finish line after the bombs went off kept running ... running to the nearest hospital to give blood. Bostonians opened their homes, offering spare bedrooms and couches to out of town runners and families who must remain here during this horrible time. Restaurants were offering free meals to those affected. We, as American people, may have differing views, differing religions and beliefs, we may argue and fight often about what we want for our country, but ... we acknowledge that we are all human, we are all Americans (even those people from other countries here for the run ... you are part of our family now). Something horrible happens, those walls crash down, our hearts burst open and we go to the ends of the earth to help where it is needed. We pull together as a dysfunctional family. But, a family nonetheless.
My prayers are filled with pleas for peace and solace for those affected by the tragedy in Boston. My heart hopes the injured pull through this, yet aches for those who won't be coming home. I'm a ball of emotion and there is no direct connection to what happened.
During my watching of news coverage, my husband popped in the front door with excellent news for our household. I never mentioned it here, but we put in an offer on a house on April 7th. He'd just heard from the broker that all was good with the funding and final approval of our loan, start packing and give notice. We were moving at the end of the month. I was overjoyed, yet sad and felt selfish to celebrate something while across this beautiful country there was so much pain.
But, it was a reminder that life continues to charge on even when it feels like the world has stopped turning. I will live my life for those that cannot, I will not take a moment of life for granted, I will look at the world through clearer eyes.
So yes, we are moving. We have almost completely bought a house. I'll be back in Santa Rosa, much closer to work, and a lot more in debt! I'm grateful for my life, I'm grateful to live here in this beautiful country, I'm grateful to be part of a country that clings to one another and does so much for each other when it is needed.
Like the title says, in dark times ... you must remember that there is also light. While we are angry at whoever did this ... there are those reaching out, caring for and taking people in. There is beauty in the horror that is happening.
Tell those around you that you love them, don't waste a moment and put things off for tomorrow. Life is too short and can be over before you know it. Don't take anything for granted, even the smallest of things.
If you're reading this ... I love you. I am blessed to know you. Thank you for being a part of my life.