From Beaufort to Boston: Our hearts are with you

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By Pamela Brownstein

It’s been more than a week since the bombings at the Boston Marathon, and the subsequent shutdown of a major American city and the dramatic chase and capture of the suspect. I, like the rest of the nation, was left watching the events unfold on TV and in the days following, listening to experts and citizens trying to comprehend how this tragedy happened, and, more importantly, why this happened.

What motivates an otherwise seemingly well-adjusted college student to assemble a pressure cooker bomb and detonate it in a crowded area with the intent to kill and cause harm to innocent people? I’m afraid I offer no revelations or revealing insights, just a complete lack of understanding of what it’s like to be so angry and callous and detached that injuring and hurting others seems like a solution or viable option.

I keep going back to the picture of the 8-year-old boy who was killed and the nightmare that has engulfed his family as the mother and the sister fight for their lives, that will never be the same. It’s so sad and my heart goes out to all of them, and to all the families reeling from this incident.

Also on the news last week was the explosion in the small town of West, Texas, that left more than a dozen dead, more than 200 injured, and many more without homes. That too was awful to watch, and the damage to the town almost unfathomable.

I emailed my dad, who lives in Texas, and tried to express my state of mind by asking him, “What’s happening in the world?”

My dad is not a person who babbles or minces words, and he always offers realistic, straightforward advice. He replied: “Recent events like Boston and West just go to show that you are never really safe so enjoy what you can. Love, Dad.”

During unpredictable times and in the face of craziness, I found this to be soothing and hope it is a reminder to make the best of what you have now.