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Apr 19 2013

Friday Night: It’s Almost Shabbat & We’re on Lockdown

By at 4:11 pm

challah on blue backgroundLast night my husband and I sat on the couch together and watched reruns of Saturday Night Live. Melissa McCarthy was hilarious. We laughed. It was good to laugh. I was glad to have my husband home after he was away all week on work. I went to sleep looking forward to spending the morning at a local park with my daughters and some good friends.

I woke up to the news that we were on lockdown. Less than five miles from our home, thousands of police and SWAT are searching houses in hopes of finding a man implicated in the bombing of the Boston Marathon, the murder of an MIT police office, and the shooting of a transit police officer. My uncle offered coffee to the cops in bulletproof vests carrying assault rifles through his backyard. His 8-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son were fascinated by the “army men” outside.

No matter how hard I try, I can’t wrap my mind around the image. Read the rest of this entry →

Apr 16 2013

After Boston, All I Have Left to do is Pray

By at 4:09 pm

copley square boston t stopOur governor has asked everyone in Massachusetts to be on a heightened state of alert in the wake of the bombing at the Boston Marathon yesterday.

I can do that. I’ve been in a heightened state of alert since I first learned that I was pregnant, nearly five years ago.

It has been said that every step we take is a prayer, and that fundamentally there are only two types of prayer: please and thank you. And so it has been since I became a mother: every doctor’s appointment, every milestone eliciting a prayer of gratitude for a positive pregnancy test, a healthy birth, a growing child, and also a plea–at times quiet, other times desperate–for another day, another year, another opportunity to be with my daughters, to watch them grow.  Read the rest of this entry →

On Boston, Bombs & Lullabies

By at 9:52 am

boston skylineWhen my daughter was born, I had time to be intentional about parenting. I chose books, music, classes, even BPA-free sippy cups based on copious research.

Now that I’ve got kid #2 in the mix, I don’t have the same kind of time or energy to make those intentional decisions. My parenting is based on what’s fastest, easiest, or most convenient. Which is why, instead of reading my son a long, but lovely, book about The Bedtime Sh’ma, I’ve been reading him a shorter Sandra Boynton book. And instead of singing him my favorite Hashkivenu prayer as a lullaby, I’ve opted for a quick verse of a Laurie Berkner song and calling it a day. The whole shebang takes about three minutes and then I can finish cleaning up the kitchen, giving my daughter a bath, or eating dinner myself. Read the rest of this entry →

Apr 15 2013

Boston: Goodness and Love are Marathons

By at 8:15 pm

Boston MarathonWhat is the hardest part?

Is it the mourning for the dead, the prayers for the injured?

Is it the fright and terror for those who are missing?

What is the hardest part?

Is it watching the news footage from home and crying, shaking our heads?

Is it the disbelief, fractured yet again, that there are people in the world who would brazenly murder innocents, this time so close to home?

Is it the knowledge that because of this, we may never be able to look at the finish line of a marathon without an involuntary shudder? Is it the knowledge that there will never again be a day where something like this hasn’t happened yet?

What is the hardest part?

Is it looking at our phones, our computer screens, our televisions, and wondering how we are going to tell our children that there are people in the world like this — that there are people in the world who are broken themselves and therefore want to break the world around them?

What is the hardest part?

The hardest part is undoing what has been done.

Some would say it is impossible. And on one level, of course it is. The horror has been wrought.

But on another level, a more abstract level, it is not impossible. With every day that we decide to not only embrace life, but also to live it in a way that helps others, we work to undo the damage done.

We vow, in passionate fury and sadness, to do what must be done to make the world whole again.

We vow not to fear those who would destroy the world, but rather to align ourselves with every breath of our lives with those who would repair what is broken.

We vow not to lose sight of what matters, and to do everything we can to ensure that our view of human life as being worth something, as being sacred, is perpetuated, from generation to generation.

It is far easier to destroy than to build.

But goodness itself is a marathon – it is long, and hard, and grueling. It doesn’t show results right away. It is the cumulative sweat and work of day after day, and of the way we hope, and choose, to live our lives.

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