a response initially published about three hours after first hearing of the boston marathon bombing.
* * *
initially, i felt stunned – a natural reaction, i think, to receiving an alert reading ‘police investigating explosions near finish line of boston marathon; reports of injuries’ on my phone.
then, i felt frightened, remembering that my uncle ran in the marathon, and my aunt and cousin were in boston with him.
then, i felt relief, openly weeping, when i learned they were safe.
then, i felt guilty, because my family was ok and other families, surely, were not as fortunate,
and i felt guilty because i was reacting emotionally while standing in raleigh – that i might have been making this a ‘me’ thing instead of an ‘us’ thing.
then, i got mad.
and i’m still mad.
because this is a ‘me’ thing, and this is an ‘us’ thing.
* * *
to the bomber(s),
-my memaw is in her 90’s. i don’t need her to worry that she lost a daughter, a son-in-law, and a granddaughter. try to keep her, and the thousands of other memaws, in your thoughts next time, ok?
-my uncle, from what i can tell, most likely has not offended you. he’s a methodist minister. who on earth have methodists ever offended?
* * *
so, i have a few questions for you:
1) were you saddened to see how many people ran towards the blasts? did it bother you that strangers showed courage and selflessness instead of turning on each other in panic?
because that’s what happened. watch the news. you’ll see volunteers bolt for the fences – towards your bombs, not away – in order to break the fences down so patrons on the curb could seek safety.
2) are you embarrassed that people on the ground, amidst the smoke, rubble, and bodies, showed limitless courage,
while you hid your face? you should be embarrassed, and you should be disappointed in how this played and will play out.
see, what’s gonna happen is, more and more individual stories of courage and hope are going to come out of the bombings. what’s gonna happen is,
we will be reminded that our hearts are courageous and made to endure. i will stand in raleigh, weeping, because my own people are brave, and in that bravery, we are safe from cowards like you.
* * *
of course, mr. bomber(s),
i would rather you not detonate any more bombs. i would rather you seek more constructive outlets, like writing or maybe working on a garden,
but it won’t matter if you decide violence is your only means.
the human heart has been through too much,
has overcome great suffering and tragedy,
* * *
and, finally, mr. bomber(s),
i’m sorry you hurt. i forgive you for what you did, and i promise i will forgive you if another bomb goes off.
i Love you (partially out of spite, because i’m sure those aren’t words you want to currently hear, but i do Love you, just the same),
and i hope your heart is someday settled enough that this need not be who and what you are.
it is never too late,
it is never too late
to turn away from the darkness.
ps: i’m still pretty pissed, though. just to be clear.