I tend to close myself off from tragedy. It makes me seem (and often feel) a bit cold and unfeeling, but it's only because if I allow myself to become involved I feel too much. I dissolve into a lump of sadness, and I can't move on. I need distance from tragedy to hold myself together.
I haven't been able to close myself off from Monday. My brother was there. My brother is safe, but what if? What if the explosions had been earlier? What if my brother had run slower? What if my older brother had been able to meet him at the finish (as originally planned), and they had stayed to watch?
So I'm searching for the news and updates and articles that I usually try to avoid. And I'm feeling pretty fragile. It's heartwrenching to read about the victims, but there have been a few things I've read in all of this that I wouldn't have read in a more closed-off state. Lovely articles that made me cry, but also resonated in my fragile heart.
The People Who Watch Marathons had me sobbing on the train this morning. I have been the one cheering in the crowd at so many races for so many years. Yelling and screaming for my brother, as I watched his high school and college meets. Jumping up and down like a maniac as he ran past me for a few fleeting seconds.
And I know it doesn't qualify me as an expert, but I have now run in two races of my own. And even though they weren't very long races, I was so touched at each by the crowds of strangers along the streets, holding up signs for ME. Jumping up and down for ME. Cheering... for me. It was so different - and exhilerating! - being on the other side of the race.
So I'm stuck. Feeling too much. Feeling too fragile. Feeling stuck and weepy and unable to concentrate.
But also wondering when I can run another race again. So when my dad emailed me about the Port to Fort 6k in Baltimore, which already supports a cause dear to my heart, and how they have created the team "Run For Boston," I knew I had found my race.
Now all I need is "permission" from Nate to sign up - I'll need his babysitting services!