Monday, April 15, 2013

Mango Momma Reflections

How to begin? 

The bombing at the Boston Marathon.

My first concern was for people I knew who were in the marathon or watching. Selfish, I know, but that's human nature. After that, I scanned reports of friends of friends who were also OK as if every person accounted for would somehow erase the fact that two people are dead, many others seriously injured.

Acts of violence are, sadly, a fact of being human. This is nothing new. History is filled with atrocities committed in the name of the state, religion, or any number of beliefs that eradicating one life will somehow "better" the lives of those left behind. 

When confronted directly with violence, there is no ready response in the catalog of human emotion that will set the mind at ease. 

If I am honest, the overriding emotion is one of fear for my own mortality, followed by fear that all I hold dear could be swiftly taken away. We're all going to die. Most of us, through some insult to our person of disease or age. But for some few, their lives will be ripped away by violent means. And when that happens, the mind reels out of control, seeks reason, seeks answers, seeks something that will make it all logical.

That comfort is not to be found. 

And so we join together in the immediate aftermath. 

But slowly, our ordinary lives will take over. Slowly the shock retreats into the corners of the mind, replaced by the day to day. 

One thing I have learned in life is that there is nothing that can prepare you for the reality of a tragic life event. We can watch all the news footage we want of disasters, man-made or other, offer sympathy, say the right words, but until it happens to you, you will never know what it really means. 

The Boston Marathon bombing didn't happen to me. It did not kill or hurt anybody I know. Which leaves me conflicted. The relief that I am OK, my friends are OK, is overwhelming. Kick up my heels happy making. Not me! Not me! But that relief is countered by an overwhelming sadness that casts a darkness over everything I see and touch in my small, safe world.

I cannot know what the families are feeling. But I am thinking of them. I cannot change human nature. I cannot create a world without violence. But I can try to find the balance between living my life and doing my part to fight against hatred fueled horrors, both locally and globally. 

It isn't easy. Not for me. Not for any of us.

Mango Momma


  1. Well pawed Mango Momma -

    Somehow the irony of it coming on Patriot's Day is too telling of the batshitkhrazy this world has become -

    One just never knows -

    And because of that, we must follow our canines and their style for living -

    In the moment -

    For we just never know -

    Khyra's DOH

  2. Words very well spoken by you and by Khyra's DOH. A very sad day for our country no matter who is at fault.

  3. A very sad day indeed and very nicely said.

  4. I instantly thought of you when I heard this.

    Your words are wise.

    I would add that it is a Blessing that the passing of time eases the horror of events like this.

    This is a sad day.

  5. Well said.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

  6. I too thought of you when I heard the sad news. I am glad u and your friends are safe. Mommy said a prayer at her work's chapel for the victims of the horrible tragedy.

  7. I know exactly how you feel. I'm from Oklahoma and when the Murrah Building was blown up, I was frantic. First reports were only of a federal building downtown. My father worked at a federal building downtown at the time. When I learned that it was a building the next street over, I was filled with enormous relief that it was "not me." But there were so many others. The ripple effect was enormous. Even though it was "not me," it seemed that everyone knew someone who had been touched by the tragedy. And it had happened to my home, my state. So while it was "not me," it WAS me and I grieved. For those lost, for those injured and for the way things would never be the same.

    Allow yourself to grieve, too. It may have not been you but in a way, it was. You lost something very real today, even apart from the horrific human toll.

    Please know that the hearts of people all over the country are with you all and will be in the coming weeks and months. And while things will never, ever be the same, they will get better.


  8. Good post. It is so unbelievable. Poor little 8-year-old boy
    Benny & Lily

  9. That balance is so important, but so hard to realize.
    Not me first. Not my friends. But then, why they? Why each of the others?

    And lost of the crimes of our times.

  10. Thank you Nancy and to the other commenters on here....we try to make sense and fail. It is a senseless act. Our prayers to all who live there....we send your our love and strength.

  11. Just horrible. Your paragraph that hit really hit home for me was "one thing that I've learned in life...". Oh man, I've learned that too. We can't even begin to imagine what the victims are feeling.

  12. Very well said. Thank you.

  13. I thought of you when I heard the terrible news about the Boston Marathon, and I also thought of my encounter with a Chinese family who were staying in the same cheap Paris hotel as me on the final night of my Easter holiday in France. Husband, wife and grown up son all came to speak to me and my American friend Marse as we were trying, in the hotel lobby, to dismantle her folding bike and squeeze it into a too small suitcase. They asked about our trip. I asked what they were doing in Paris. Proudly and excitedly, in broken English, they told me they were all running the Paris marathon in two days time. Son, apparently a serious runner, expecting to complete the distance in under three hours. Parents rather slower but still keen. Have you run marathons before I asked. Oh yes, they replied, New York, Boston, London, Berlin. How wonderful, I thought, this deepening of international bonds through pure enthusiasm for athletics. I wonder if they were in Boston yesterday.

  14. Well said, Miss Nancy.

    Love ya lots,
    Mitch and Molly

  15. Beautifully and so honestly written; the aftermath of tragic events is very hard to express - you have a gift.

  16. So very well said. We try to imagine a world without violence and how great it would be to enjoy generations of peace...but unfortunately not in this lifetime.

  17. Howdy Nancy, we too thought of you and your family and friends when we heard the news. It's just horrible. Too horrible to sometimes be able to think about and then you realise the families and friends involved have no other option than to think and live through this senseless act. Boston is in our thoughts and we can only send love to you all. Love, because we hope in our hearts that it will help. Carol

  18. Well written - thank you. I'm not a blogger, but I get your posts via email. Often I forward them to my 89 year old Dad - he thinks your Dexter is the greatest! I think that most people in the world do their best to contribute, rather than hurt society. I'd like you to know that at minimum, your emailed posts to California make my Dad and me happier people.

  19. Just too sad for words. Glad you and yours are OK.

  20. MM, we are all Bostonians now as we solidify ourselves against the inhumanity of this cowardly act. Your words said it all very well. It is during these sort of times that we all have the opportunity to shine as brightly as those new angels in heaven. Ann TBL

  21. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by this senseless and terrible act.

  22. We read a comment on FB that said the greatest danger to whomever did this is the face of the Boston Public Library across the street. It contains knowledge and wisdom....for some reason we find this very comforting.

  23. I thought of you when I heard the news yesterday. If I remember correctly, you live in the area. I'm glad you're well and that everyone you know is well. The world is very complicated and there are too many angry people in it. Stay safe X

  24. It does bring out a torrent of mixed emotions. It's probably natural to feel guilt for being happy and relieved that we and our loved ones are safe, while we know that others' lives have been devastated. But I guess that's where the lesson is found--being grateful for what we have at this moment and knowing it's all a gift to embrace right now. Extra hugs to Dexter.

  25. Once again, you speak - more eloquently than most of us could - for all of us. What a shame it takes something this terrible to bring us together as Americans, neither Red nor Blue.