Monday, March 9, 2015

On Heartbreak, Healing and a Garden of Love

Last Wednesday I shared my reflections on the first day of the trial of the accused Boston Marathon bomber in my post #wehealtogether: Strength in Community. There has been a lot of activity in social media about the trial and the death penalty. In part, the trial is about due process. We have a perfectly imperfect justice system flawed in ways that could and has filled volumes of books. But for now it's what we've got. In Erin Dionne's piece, "I was juror 359 but wasn't seated on the jury," she gives us a powerful look inside the jury selection process and ends her piece with:
There’s been a lot written about the pool; a lot of glib remarks about “idiots” and people “skipping” out of the courtroom. But these are your neighbors. Your friends. Your coworkers. No one has asked to be there. No one volunteered. No one is an “idiot.” These people are more than what you see on a survey or in a soundbite. To reduce them to two-dimensional cutouts is na├»ve and does all of us a disservice. Instead, thank them for putting their lives on hold. Thank them for doing their best to get it right. For participating in the process.

And wish them luck, logic and strength for what they will see and the burden they will carry.

I believe this trial has little to do with the accused bomber and we can choose where to focus our attention and intention. I believe this trial has to do with healing and moving forward as a community in the wake of devastation, evil and destruction.

Walter Dunbar is a first responder. He posted this photo from Dear World on his Facebook page last week:

He created the Soul Action Alliance:
SOUL is the attribute of spirit, ACTION is an act of will, ALLIANCE is a group joining forces for a common goal.

It was two days filled with heartbreaking and graphic testimony. I saw the surveillance video from inside the Marathon Sports store. In 2011 I sat at that very spot waiting for my husband to cross the finish line for Childrens Hospital. We were supposed to be there on 4/15/13 but my friend was injured and didn't run. We decided to share the day with our teammates from Spaulding's Race for Rehab team at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

We are part of the Marathon Sports family and I remember on 4/15/13 how sick, heartbroken and worried I felt for my family who helped me launch my running career in 2009 and have been with Team McManus every step on our journey as we saw news reports once we were able to safely evacuate and return home.

Last week I heard the heartbreaking reports of Bill Richard's testimony. I also heard the Channel 7 News reporter share that Jeffrey Baumann took the stand and while he was testifying, Carlos Arredondo "who we all came to know as the man in the white cowboy hat only he wasn't wearing one when he sat in court today smiled as Jeffrey Baumann said, "It seemed like a lifetime to me laying there. A guy in a cowboy hat came up. He was keeping me calm. I had hope at that point."

I read Rebekkah Gregory DiMartino's letter to the accused after she testified.

And I think that's the ironic thing that happens when someone intends something for evil. Because somehow, some way, it always ends up good.

Heather Abbott's story echoes so many of those injured about wanting to help others as a result of that life changing day as was reported in this powerfully moving Boston Globe article.
It hadn’t been easy for Heather to make the time to be here Wednesday, as busy as she found herself these days. The bombing had changed everything, but not just in the ways she expected. Afterward, she started counseling other amputees, to give them hope by sharing her recovery. She agreed to give a talk about her experience, and that led to speeches all over the country. She spoke of accepting her loss, accepting that she couldn’t change it, and told how that had allowed her to move forward.

Most recently, she had started the Heather Abbott Foundation , navigating a maze of unfamiliar red tape and plunging into grant writing, public re- lations, and fund-raising. The goal was to help amputees whose cases, unlike hers, had never made headlines or spurred a flood of donations. Getting her life back had not been cheap; prosthetics are costly, and out of reach for most people.

“I can’t keep walking into these hospital rooms and telling people about something they can’t have,” Heather said she had realized. “I have to find a way to make it happen.”

Some survivors find release, relief and healing by attending the trial. Others find healing from afar as shared in this recent Boston Globe article, Mixed feelings among survivors....

Those of us who were there but didn't suffer physical injuries continue to emotionally heal and surround those who were profoundly affected on 4/15/13 with a circle of love.

Walter posted these photos on Soul Action Alliance's page, "Life finds a way. Keep on growing."

Each one of us who has known trauma, whose hearts have been broken, who have witnessed the darkest side of human nature miraculously find a way to make it through and bloom. Together, with each of those flowers we create a garden of love.

And speaking of gardens, the City of Medford plans a peace garden to honor Krystle Campbell.

Sending out love and healing as we begin the 2nd week of testimony and moving forward to closing another chapter from 4/15/13.

Peace is a Garden

Peace is a garden
roots deep
fertile Mother Earth a plea to her children
grow your heart
reach out to one another
to heaven
heaven on earth
weeds of rage tenderly excised
laid to rest
tears of compassion water the garden of peace
come sit with me
and just be.

Journey well!

"Journey Well" and all of my inspirational books are available on Amazon.

"Journey Well" is a book about resilience, strength, courage and how we are able to journey well no matter what conditions life hands to us. I profile the people who are Boston Stronger and share how 4/15/13 was a wake up call to me to return to my healing path from contracting paralytic polio at age 5 and 9 years of domestic violence as a child and adolescent.

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