Friday, April 19, 2013

Pray For... Us All

I consider myself Bostonian.  In high school I told my mother that if I wasn't accepted to Boston College, I planned to re-apply until I was.  It was the only place I wanted to be.  After (an on-time) graduation, I lived in and loved the city.  I made fun of Duck Boats.  I ate North End cannolis.  I brunched at Stephanie's on Newbury and saw concerts at The Gaa'den.  I celebrated St. Patrick's Day like I was Irish, and I completed the Boston Marathon.
That's me in the yellow tank, running to raise money for Brigham & Women's Hospital, in 2001
A few years later, I was married on the North Shore of Boston, in my husband's hometown.  Our reception was at the Fairmont Copley, feet away from the explosions.  So though there are palm and citrus trees in my Los Angeles yard, I have been infused with Patriot blood.
Copley Square, just feet from the finish line
I've kept from comment on the events of this week solely because I was left speechless by the photo of an 8 year old victim sharing a message of peace so soon before the exact opposite took his life.  But now is my time.

I don't believe it is out of selfishness that we take tragedy and personalize it.  I speak of my ties to Boston not to imply that I grieve more than you, but because in order to process any event, positive or negative, we need to make it our own.  Here is what helped me to do so.

Several months ago, I wrote about the Earthquake Survival Kit that I had to pack for my daughter to keep at preschool.  The canned tuna, flashlight, non-peanut peanut butter and family contact info was simple.  It was the "encouraging letter from home" that stumped me, and did until today.

The packed bag remains in my kitchen.  All the items are checked off, with the exception of the letter.  As much as I love to write, every time I sit down to compose what could potentially be the last words my daughter will hear from her mother and father, I cry.

Back then, I asked myself how I communicate the words to my child that I knew could be my last, but also how I could not... Now I know.

I will think of the parents of that 8 year old boy and pray that they never left important words unspoken.  Then, I will pick up my pen, and make sure I don't end up in the same boat.