I’m sitting comfortably in my bedroom as I write this. My dog is dreaming on my bed behind me, wimpering and huffing at rabbits yet to be caught. The cracked window in front of me welcomes a cool breeze as I sit listening to “Murder in the City” by The Avett Brothers.
Tomorrow, if all goes well, I’ll arrive safely in Rochester, NY–welcomed by good friends that I haven’t seen in a while. It’s been too long. We’ll shake hands and hug. I’ll be sure to tell their wives how beautiful they are. We’ll laugh, as always, at stupid jokes over a meal and encourage each other before a day filled with platforms and purpose.
Saturday, my friend Casey and I will stand in front of judges and face an audience from a powerful pulpit. In one way or another, we’ll drive the earth away in defiance. As we grip, sweat, strain and bleed, we’ll accomplish our goals and disloge demons that have for too long called our souls home.
It’s nothing extraordinary; it’s ordinary life. I’ll not doubt that you’re sharing a similar experience as you read this, preparing for a trip to see friends and cleanse a bit of your soul. I find my catharsis with a bar in my hands and a strain in my back. Yours may be in fishing; it might be at the top of a mountain. We all find solace in things we love.
Martin Richard loved to play sports–soccer, baseball and basketball. I read also that he loved to run and climb. For Martin there are no more trees to scramble up, no more balls to kick.
Lu Lingzi needed only one more course to graduate from Boston University. She liked the spring time. She was getting better at cooking and she loved to share pictures of her new culinary accomplishments. She was watching the marathon with two friends.
Krystle Campbell had a huge heart. She sometimes worked 70 or 80 hours per week but still found time for other people in her life. Krystle moved in with her grandmother for two years to care for her after an operation.
These are the people we lost on Monday.
A boy that will never learn what’s like to have a sweetheart, graduate from high school and make something of himself. His parents won’t get to watch their son become a man.
Lu won’t feel what it’s like to finish graduate school; she’ll never go home to China.
Krystle won’t get to turn 30. Her birthday is May 3rd. Rooms will be dimmer without her presence.
Life continues for the seriously injured; some move on without limbs. Others will recover fully physically while scars remain singed in their psyche, forever releasing emotional smoke.
It’s easy for me to sit behind a computer with a cool breeze at my chest and bleed emotions through a key board. I was in State College, Pennsylvania when the bombs went off. No one that I know personally was killed or injured. I’m not a Bostonian, I can’t fully relate to their pain.
But I can imagine what it would be like to never pet my dog again because I lost my arms. It’s a knife through my heart to imagine one of my nieces or nephews in the place of Martin Richard. What if Krystle or Lu had been my sister?
On Saturday, as I stand facing a crowd and staring at a judge, Martin, Krystle and Lu will be in heart. All of those affected in Boston will be in my mind. I’ll be lifting for Boston.
Please help Casey Bard and I help those left to sort through the wake in Boston. Follow the link below and make a donation of whatever you can spare. The money goes directly to the American Red Cross for Boston Marathon Bombing Victims.