I've often written, “What A Week” columns when speaking of local events keeping a newspaper staff hopping. However, the explosions that shook our state and nation this week have given a whole new meaning to “What a week!”
I am glad the week ended Friday with a celebration of Boston residents and officials when the second bomber was captured. The resident who noticed blood in his back yard (which is when I would have run to call) and then looked under the tarp of his boat to find the second bomber, was “brave.” I'm glad he wasn't harmed.
I hope the bomber recuperates enough to tell law enforcement why he did what he did. If I were the family members of those killed or maimed, I would want an explanation, some accountability, even though I doubt it will fully satisfy those hurting.
And then to see the state of Texas respond to the West explosion with so many donations...Wow! They are having problems managing it all. What a problem to have!
Our own community immediately set up drop-off places and made lists of needs. It is one of the reasons I have always loved living in small communities, Texas and the United States. People show their true colors in times like this, and it is bright “red, white and blue.”
I was impressed to read that runners still advanced toward the finish line, even when seeing and hearing the explosions. They wanted to FINISH! And for those whom had already crossed, they ran back to see if they could help.
I enjoyed the account of the young man from Austin, who saw both explosions, as a runner in the marathon and then later that week, when he made a business trip to Dallas. He stopped on I-35 at West to take a picture, and the plant exploded, throwing debris on the top of his vehicle.
People tried to tell him he was unlucky, but he said, “No, I'm extremely fortunate. I was not harmed, my wife was not harmed.” His wife stood right next to a woman at the Marathon finish line who lost part of her right leg and some of her fingers on her right hand.
Yes, I would agree that he was very fortunate. I had to think, “What are the odds of him experiencing both explosions?” I'm sure he thought the same.
So many thoughts have gone through my mind this week, putting on the shoes of those families who lost loved ones, those runners who lost limbs, families who lost homes, firefighters who responded to a fire they knew was dangerous, but went anyway. I tried on the shoes of the woman who lost two sons at West, those attending mass funerals, the mother of the little boy killed at Boston. I heard the uncle of the bombers who said he loved America and the mother who didn't believe they were responsible.
All those shoes were heavy. We all grieve and try to carry the pain for our brothers and sisters in America. Many have prayed harder this week than at other times. The most important part is, we did it together. Which I think is another word for America.