Life's little adventures, accompanied by a running watch
Monday, April 22, 2013
Hope, Healing, and Humanity
When we travelled to Punta Cana last month, I snapped this picture of something that at first made me incredibly sad –
I felt sad because I can’t imagine not being able to walk or run. I felt sad because, whether the person lost his ability to walk due to something that occurred at birth, an accident, or a disease, he lost his ability to walk. Period. Worse (in my opinion) was the person owning that chair was a young teenage boy. I remember thinking to myself, “I must never take my abilities for granted. You never know….”
What you don’t see in this picture is how the chair came to be empty. And that’s the good part of this story. I watched family and/or friends accompany this teenage boy as far as his wheelchair would take him down the boardwalk to the ocean side. Once his wheelchair ran out of traction, they removed him from his chair and carried him off to their spot on the beach. He had a support system there to physically help him, but also to emotionally help him by not letting the lack of traction stop him from enjoying his beach vacation like everyone else.
I now reflect to the present with regards to so many who are facing new lives that may include wheelchairs, crutches, and/or prosthetic limbs. The horror of this event leaves me angry, sad, and even discouraged at times with humanity (if you consider terrorists humans, that is). So the humanity I prefer to think about is what happened on April 15th immediately after the bombs went off. Medical personnel who expected to see blisters were faced with some of the worst war-like injuries they could ever imagine. Race volunteers leapt into the still smoky “ground zero” of the bomb blasts to triage and help move victims to ambulances. Regular people spectating at a race became heroes. Our law enforcement was outstanding and seemed to be everywhere in that moment and beyond.
Runner on left had finished the marathon; he and others likely saved this man's life
We are all victims of this unspeakable attack, but the victims who are grappling with physical injuries that will change their lives will need our support for a long time. Onefundboston has already raised an incredible amount of money that will help victims and their families start their recovery process. Runners and walkers everywhere have been staging events to honor Boston and its many victims. There are so many good people displaying such heroic traits that I choke up as I type this. That’s humanity.
You may click on the bib to contribute
I feel like this entire country – maybe even the world – has stepped up to do what the family in Punta Cana did for their wheelchair-bound teen. In the bombing victims’ moment of losing traction, we’ve picked them up and have continued to show that we support them. Every day, we hope for their physical and emotional healing. And when they start on their road to recovery and begin re-entering their daily lives again, we’ll remind them that, even though they are changed, they are one of us and vice versa. We are all in this together.
We are one week since the attack. Four precious lives have been lost and too many other lives have been changed forever. We mourn for so much loss. But with humanity comes hope, and with healing comes living again. Healing takes time, and is most definitely not a sprint; it is indeed a marathon.