We were winding down the night, about to begin the latest Game of Thrones episode, when we noticed the Twitter-verse was full of “Breaking News” about a blast at the Boston Marathon. When you hear things like this, your heart sinks, and you watch for updates hoping that it isn’t as bad as that dark thought in the back of your head. I think it is a normal reaction as a human being to be horrified when people are unexpectedly harmed in a supposed safe place. There is something added on to these feelings being away from my home country. I only knew a couple people that were in Boston (and none were near the race), so it wasn’t that it was personal. Actually, yes, maybe it was personal on some bizarre nationalist level.

America will always be my home, even though I half suspect I will never permanently live there again. But I grew up there, became who I am there, and most of the people I love most in the world still live there. When something like his happens so out of my control, I can’t help but feel helpless and protective. I had this crazy feeling that I just wanted to fly back ‘home’ , similar to the feeling I had when the horrible tragedy happened at Sandy Hook Elementary.

 

Terror at Boston Marathon

Terror at Boston Marathon

 

I always say that the absolute worst part of being an expat/nomad/wanderer is not being home when something bad happens. I have heard from countless people that their biggest fear is mom, dad, grandma getting sick- and not making it back in time. The situation most likely will not change, whether we are present or not, but it is comforting to be with people who are experiencing the same pain in their heart.

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The week after I wrote this post I was in London for a conference and decided to go show my support to the runners at the London Marathon. I was blown away by the number of people I saw who not only were supporting Boston through ribbons and t-shirts but the runners who had been in Boston only a week prior and were there running! What dedication and courage that must have taken for them. I imagine the initial shock couldn’t have even worn off, but they had managed to work through it to continue doing what they love. They didn’t let the “bad” guys win. I say bad guys, but I didn’t know the men (boys?) who terrorized Boston that week. I like to think that there is good in everybody, and whether they were seriously misinformed on some issues or just plain brainwashed, we may never know. I know many people won’t agree with me, but I think there is genuinely something sad in the fact that the youngest boy lost his own life that day. From what I have read, people seemed to like him. He was smart, going places maybe. Now it is all gone. I am not saying he doesn’t deserve that, not even a little. But as my heart aches for all the victims in these tragedies, I find it aching for the families of the people responsible as well. Those people were loved too.

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