Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Moment After



Whenever anything terrible has happened in my life I have invariably played out that moment many times in my head. The second the phone call came, the second I knew something to be a lie instead of the truth, or the second someone was alive and then they weren't. I think this is a natural response to any level of trauma. What I find I dwell on just as much though is the moment before.

Any significant event that occurs in your life is almost like a brand. It permeates your skin until it becomes a part of you; ever-present almost like an old friend you can't imagine your life without. It has always been this way hasn't it? No, there was that moment before it happened when you swam in a sea of concerns that seem so trivial now. At the same time that you abhor the ridiculous worries that governed your life {What do you mean you don't have this shoe in my size......He called {yeah!} but I have to wait at least 4 hours before I call him back kind of crap} you long for them.

I do not pretend to understand on any level what the people involved in the Boston bombings are going through. Frankly any horrible event in my life, while traumatic to me, pales in comparison. But I do know that once their lives settle and they allow themselves to be comforted instead of frightened by memories, they will remember the last moment of what will seem like a different life. The moment before.

Each person will view that moment differently. Some will see it as a representation of all that was taken from them. Some will use it to inspire others to appreciate what they have, because it could be lost in an instant. We have heard inspiring tales already over the past days that remind us of the capacity for selflessness I think we all hold inside us. If only we could keep that knowledge close so that small daily acts, not just isolated heroic feats, could inspire the use of it.

No doubt we will find out in some capacity who is responsible for the bombings and I'm sure we'll be notified via Twitter before the President has even been properly briefed. This is a reality, both good and bad, that we live with today.

What I hope most is that the moment before this happened can become a monument to the resilience of the moment after. I hope that on a sunny April day in Boston in the not too distant future thousands of runners will again cross the finish line and be greeted by the cheers of their loved ones. I hope that a beautiful city, so rich in history and American grandeur, can once again celebrate one of the things that makes it great. I will now hope for the moment after.

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