What happened in Boston yesterday was horrific. In the middle of the work day, my phone started lighting up with texts and emails asking if I was ok. It wasn’t until the third or fourth message that I began to understand why that line of questioning was taking place. And then I saw it with my own disbelieving eyes.
Those runners were participating in THE race – the one they’ve all dreamt about, longed for, worked harder than their bodies and minds thought possible day in and day out for weeks on end. They tirelessly fought and fought to get there; they ate right, exercised constantly, studied the course and prepared to master its Heartbreak Hill at mile 18. They visualized with their counterparts, their training buddies, the ones whom they love and trust and know. They toed the line numerous times before in the quest to qualify, only to question whether they were good enough, strong enough, resilient enough to ever get there – to succeed, to make it. And they never gave up.
As I watched the news coverage of those relentless fighters who were there, in their home stretch, at mile 26, at the end of their race, the end of their training, the end of their journey – smiling and taking in the cheering crowd that was encouraging them to finish strong as they too, reveled in their extraordinary accomplishment right alongside them – everything they had hoped and dreamed and prepared for was blown away.
Why? How can this be happening? Make it stop. Please. Make it stop.
One of the best feelings in life was instead replaced with immediate fear, confusion, and hurt. Someone or several someones, hurt our friends. They assaulted them and each of us when we least expected it, when we weren’t looking, when we didn’t deserve it. During one of the most monumental moments in those people’s lives, we were all sucker-punched.
People were attacked and died in Boston yesterday.
People were attacked and died on 9/11.
People are being attacked and dying every day from cancer.
Just as those runners were training and preparing and planning for THE race, so too are others participating in the race of life. They train and prepare and plan first words, lemonade stands, games of catch, dates, marriage, vacations, and children – when immediate fear, confusion, and uncertainty shows up and stops them in their tracks.
Get out of our house, terrorists, and get out of our homes, cancer.
We will stand for your innocence-robbing no more. We are united as Americans and we are united as a human race. We stand proud, strong, and resilient. We will keep running. We will keep living.
And we will NEVER give up.
For those in Boston yesterday, and for those everywhere battling cancer – Do something. Get mad. Make a difference.