On Monday, April 15, a state holiday, I went to work. I went to work so I could take the rest of school vacation week off and spend it with my child. I logged on to Facebook a few times during the day for kicks during breaks. But by early afternoon I was crunching to get work done so I could leave. So I didn’t hear the news until I turned on the radio for my drive home. I promptly started to cry and spoke out loud to my empty car, “what is going on? why is this happening? how could this stuff happen?”
And then I stuck my head in the sand because I couldn’t handle not having answers to questions I don’t want to ask. And I needed to be tear-free to drive home to my child. I needed to be home with my child.
When I got home, I took my head out long enough to text a friend and find out if she was okay. By bedtime, I had vicariously determined that everyone I personally know in Boston is unharmed. But I did not read the news, listen to the news, watch the news, or digest news in any form.
The next day, back at work, my colleague casually said her husband had been called out, of course. He’s on the SWAT team. And although we’re two hours outside of Boston, everyone was on high alert. I didn’t respond. I couldn’t respond. I shrugged and buried my head even deeper. Willing the sand to fill my ears as I breathed in the filtered salty air beneath.
It’s Friday night. I have spent an oblivious three days with my child. Beautiful vacation days with gardening and giggling, rolling in grass, and getting dirt under our finger nails. Silly dances in the kitchen, stuffed animal circuses, salty snacks, and ice cream. The comfort of this little rural city that I love so much.
And then i went on Facebook and my oblivion has been shattered. I feel sick to my stomach. My friends are in Boston, Waltham, Watertown, Stoneham, Newton. You name the Boston area town and I’ve got a friend there. One post led to another article which led to another picture. Pictures you have all looked at since Monday but I have dutifully ignored. So I cry tears of fear for you. Tears for your terrifying nights, your amputated limbs, your broken hearts, and your lost lives. Guilty tears of relief that I live out here. I live out here. Where horses graze in pasture ten minutes from my home, where I never walk to town without seeing someone I know, where my child wanders free on a street full of neighbors who know her name, know her mother, and know to keep her safe. I cry guilty tears of relief that we are okay. I cry tears of fear that the the world is just too big and just too close for all of us to be okay.
May my tears bring breath. May my breath bring peace. May peace bring heart. May heart bring listening. May listening bring generosity.
5 thoughts on “I Cry Tears of Fear”
Hi Serah Rose. Your beautiful words choked me up. And first of all, let me assure you, you have nothing to feel guilty about. You were protecting your daughter. You are a very caring, good and sensitive person. And you are strong. It’s what makes you such a wonderful artist, writer and mother. It is also what makes you feel such empathy for the victims whenever tragedy happens.
Secondly, yes, our world can be very real, and real ugly at that. And sometimes there is no explanation for the nightmares we bring on each other. And we should safeguard our kids from it for as long as we can. My Faith has plenty to say about this, but I like the way Gandalf said it, “There are other forces in this world besides the will of Evil.” Look beyond the horrible images they bombarded us with…. Look at the facts. Knowledge conquors fear. People, both public servants and especially ordinary people, were rushing to help each other even before the roars of the explosions faded. I would never trivialize the total sorrow the families of the dead and injured must be going through, but I think it’s because of these same people, that the bombs only claimed three. It’s because of officers, like your friends husband, that more bombs have not gone off since. Good exists. Hope persists. Even the smallest of lights can hold off the dark.
This is still a world of magic, of light, of life. It is people like you who make it so. SerahRose, in the short time I knew you, no one had a ready smile like yours. Please don’t let this tragedy change that. Once the dust settles and people have mourned, they will need to be reminded of that light. You and your daughter are light-bringers. Don’t be afraid.
Julio – Thank you. You’re right, “This is still a world of magic, of light, of life.” You are so right.
Just beautiful. 🙂
I only know of you in story, I am friends with Kevin from RPI, who always spoke so fondly of you and Marissa. I came upon this blog off a posting on facebook. You don’t know me, but I feel like I know you. I love this post, you put into words all of my feelings. I live just 40 miles from Boston, and I too wanted to bury my head in the sand. I feel guilt for the joys I have felt over these past few days. Thank you for sharing this. Thank you for expressing.
Hi Vanessa – You’re welcome for sharing. It’s often people like you, who I don’t know, that make me feel grateful for writing what I do. Hope you got your head out the sand eventually 🙂 I did.