Today. Another murder ( an MIT policeman). Another death (one of the suspects). Watching the videos last night of the two young men at the finish line of the Marathon, recognizing neither one of them.
Then, suddenly, they are my neighbors. They went to MY high school, the high school my daughters attended, the one I love and support. They live in my city. I know people who were their teachers. As an employee of the local public schools, I received a text that if any reporters ask me about this situation, I am to say, “No comment”. I couldn’t comment anyway; I didn’t know them.
Earlier this school year, the CRLS message board officially celebrated Ben Affleck’s win (a Golden Globe? I get all those awards shows confused). We are proud of Matt and Ben, and now we have Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, graduates of CRLS who killed three and maimed many more at the Boston Marathon. We are not proud of them.
So this week began with a family trip, which was fun, exciting, and exhausting. When we unlocked the door to our house on Monday afternoon and turned on the TV, we started this horrible week. I am not by nature a TV person, nor do I ordinarily sit and waste time. I am more of a planner, a list-maker, a do-er. But for most of this week I have simply been sitting, watching the news and listening to the radio.
Today I am in my house in a lock down. I was supposed to drive a friend to her post-surgery nurse visit and a visit with her oncologist. We couldn’t go. The police told us there were no exceptions for medical visits unless they were emergencies. While learning about her cancer treatment is imperative for her, it does not qualify as an emergency.
So I learned this week how to simply go with the flow of things…to eliminate my lists, to sit with uncomfortable feelings, to be patient (not being able to get to the gym or get on my bike), to fear my neighbors in my city, and to watch and worry.
And the fact that continues to rattle me is this…these boys graduated from our local public high school, a school known for its diversity, its acceptance and its social justice programs; the news reporter paraphrased the younger brother’s guidance counselor at the high school, describing her as ‘distraught’, as remembering this boy as a nice kid who went to parties, went to the prom, was on the wrestling team, and apparently made bombs in his apartment. And one of the victims who was severely injured (he lost one leg below the knee) and his wife (who also lost one leg below the knee and may also lose the other foot), well, this young man is the son of a well-known and respected retired guidance counselor at the high school and his wife, a career (now retired) special education teacher at the same high school.
A high school that nurtured these two boys, offered them support (and a scholarship), a place on the wrestling team, and a cap and gown at graduation, should turn out a person who maimed a guidance counselor’s and teacher’s adult son….with home-made bombs at the Boston Marathon.
This will not tarnish our Cambridge spirit; all week we were “Boston Strong”; today, I am “Cambridge Strong”. We will still educate young people and graduate them and send them to college and take risks with them. For them. Because of them.