Just Write: It Could Have Been Us

My sister-in-law is okay. She ran the Boston Marathon today. We got a call from my mother-in-law letting us know she was okay even though they were all shook up.

“Wait, what happened?” my husband asked confused.

We had been busy today with this and that and hadn’t bothered to turn on the news this afternoon. When we did, we couldn’t turn the t.v. off for the rest of the day.

Again. This is happening again. More carnage. More innocent people. And this time it was hitting very close to home. My husband’s whole family lives in Boston and his brother and sister-in-law were there in the midst of it all. Luckily, she was a still a few miles away from the finish line, but it was still so close and to a city my husband grew up in and loved and I, myself, had grown to love.

And then when I found out one of the victims was a child. An eight-year-old child. All I could think about was it could have been us. It could have been my child. We could have been there, waiting at the finish line for Auntie Jenn. The thought gave me the chills and I couldn’t stop feeling angry and sad and scared.

I think about whoever did this, whoever planted those bombs used to be a child once. They were raised by parents. I wonder how they were raised. How does a child grow up to become someone who would do such a thing? I think about how we are trying to raise our daughter. I want her to be compassionate and gentle and kind. I hope to god I’m doing it right. I think of that quote that always gets put up on facebook when these kinds of things happen, the Fred Rogers quote about helpers. I want to raise my daughter to be a helper. One of the many who ran to help the victims and the hurt today.

I kiss her the rest of the night. I snuggle her close. My husband is extra cuddly with her too. We squeeze her and kiss her and love on her and sing to her and read her stories and pray she stays healthy and safe. Because it’s getting harder and harder to be safe anymore, when a child goes to cheer his family on in a race and loses his life just standing there… it’s harder and harder to keep our loved ones safe… as a parent, that’s frightening.


*My thoughts are with the families in Boston. I am so thankful my Boston family is safe and my heart goes out to the victims of this senseless tragedy. I am usually horrible at writing things like this, but this one hit too close to home for me not to write and I felt I couldn’t write about anything else for Just Write this week. Thank you Heather for creating us this outlet. Joining in Just Write.


5 thoughts on “Just Write: It Could Have Been Us

  1. I think that’s what makes this tragedy so scary- because it hits close to home for many of us. My son loves sports- any sport. If we lived in Boston that’s where we would have been: on the sidewalk cheering. (Shudder.) I’m so glad your family there was safe.

  2. It is really sad and tragic, isn’t it? And having a child makes you think about these things more; makes you want to do the best you can, right?

    I am happy to hear that your family is safe, and like you, my heart goes out to the victims.

    Take care and keep safe.

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