Growing up and going to college in Maine, Boston was my go-to for a “big city” experience. In college, I had many friends who lived just outside Boston and I spent many summers there, doing what college students do – a little of everything and nothing really at all. I loved going to Boston’s museums, walking along the bay, or around the pond in JP, going to Trader Joe’s (there wasn’t one in Maine at the time), or just hanging in the backyard.
I still have friends and family who live in Boston. I know people who have run the Boston Marathon. I have watched the Boston Marathon being run.
For many reasons the events of yesterday’s tragedy struck too close to home and, much like my experience in the wake of the events in Sandy Hook, I was incapable of really facing the devastation. As Tim looked through photos of the aftermath, I questioned why he was doing it. As he read accounts of the event, I watched Alice sleep. I couldn’t face it. Or, rather, I didn’t want to.
This morning I heard something that helped make it all a little more manageable. It was a brief story on NPR, reporting about something that Mr. Rogers said in a parenting book he had written long ago describing how parents can help children cope with and understand tragedies like this one. “When I was a boy and would see scary things on the news,” he said, “my mother would say to me ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'”
Remembering that there are helpers in these times of inexplicable loss and terror somehow helps. Just a little bit. It helps.