Days after a tragedy, I’m thinking to myself, should you really be writing about… quilting? Will my post seem crass, flippant, or worse, annoying? I’ve felt weird posting anything to social media after the tragedy of the Boston Marathon. I felt even more uncomfortable with just posting an entry without acknowledging that, yet again, another unspeakable event has occurred. So while this isn’t the WiP Wednesday I planned to post today, I knew I couldn’t move forward without acknowledging Boston.
Ultimately, my words are not eloquent or important, but I do know that after an event like this, there are opportunities for change within oneself. On Monday, I watched in horror, paralyzed with fear, compulsively reading updates, aimlessly shifting through emotions. As a teacher, I was like this after the Sandy Hook shootings. My mind was on repeat: What would I do in that situation? Why? What is wrong with people? As a runner, Monday shook me to my core again. Races have been a place of personal healing for me over the past few years (another topic for another post), and they remain some of the most inspirational events that I have been able to participate in. I could talk for hours about the love I have for the running community. And, yet, I know from all of the tragedies before that have brought on these emotions of “What if, why, etc.” that life will continue. Life does goes on, but with each Columbine, 9/11, Aurora, Newtown, or Boston, shouldn’t life get altered just a bit for those of us lucky enough to escape unscathed and removed? Shouldn’t we take from the beautiful examples of courage, compassion, bravery, and love that is seen in response to these terrible events?
And then I read my friend’s blog post about her response to the Boston Marathon. She wrote about how we overcome evil with good, and detailed how she responded to the tragedy by being mindful and present in her life. For it is in our response that we can honor those that were affected. Our response can say I will not choose to think that evil can overcome all the good I know to be in this world.
And, so, this is how I responded.
1. I called the people I love. Instead of thinking about them or stalking their Facebook page, I called them. (Ok, some of you I texted, but I was at work!)
2. I stayed up a little later to read a book beside my husband.
3. I set my alarm to go off later to snuggle with my husband. I decided I could forgo stopping for coffee, and I could.
4. I played a game of checkers with one of my students, gave extra hugs today, and tried to be extra conscious of being present with my students.
5. I prayed for the survivors and the victims.
6. I looked through my pictures from various visits to Boston and gave thanks that I have so many beautiful memories there; from weddings, visits with family members, dinners with friends, and some of my first dates with my husband. Boston will remain Boston.
7. I eagerly read as many stories as I could about the heroes from the Boston Marathon. So. many. reminders. of. the. good. in. people.
8. I looked up future races to run.
9. I didn’t get mad at the cars who cut me off, the pedestrians who walked out in front of me, or the man who cut me off in Chipotle.
10. I had a conversation with the lady who took my toll money and looked her in the eyes and smiled as I said, “Thank you” instead of driving off.
11. I Said prayers for the men and women who are serving overseas and in our military. God bless you.
And I quilted.
So, yes, I will post what I have created in my little corner of the world, because Boston reminded me why I started quilting in the first place.
Our gut reaction to these tragedies is to love on our people.
To be thankful they are OK.
To tell them we love them.
To think, thank God I get to say “I love you” one more time.
I started quilting because every time I sit under the quilt my grandmother made me I know she loves me, and I wanted to give the same gift to others. I want them to sit under a quilt I have made for them, so my people will know, “Ashley loves me.”
So, yes, life will go on. But in light of another tragedy, I want to continue to extend grace and compassion to others, emulating the good that always shows itself in the midst of tragedy. And for God’s sakes, let me remember to keep telling my people that I love them.
So happy WiP Wednesday, my favorite day of the week.
I cannot wait to see what you are up to, for you inspire me!
Here is my newest Sister’s Ten BOM
Yes, I’ve made January, February, and April. I know I skipped March 🙂 Whoops.
And I’m still sewing away at this one, which is now going to a beautiful friend to say “I love you and I think about you all the time even though we’re countries apart!”
Happy Wednesday and Happy Quilting to ya!