All hell was breaking loose in Boston and I was watching it all unfold as I waited for a heavenly gift. With the events of the Boston Marathon still fresh in our hearts and minds, I could not believe the scene that was playing out on the television in front of me. That television was in a Labor and Delivery waiting room where I was patiently sitting with my family awaiting the birth of my grandson.
The hospital and the city I live in are only about twenty five miles north of Boston so it was hitting close to home. As each hour passed my stress level increased tenfold as I tried to make sense of a senseless act of violence and of concern for my daughter in the delivery room.
I knew people who had been standing at the finish line of the marathon when the bombs went off and witnessed the bloody carnage. I was in denial that it was a terrorist attack; it couldn’t be; who would do this and why? This is my Boston and I couldn’t stop my tears that day when I found out an innocent eight year old boy was one of the victims.
Here it is, two days later and I’m in disbelief again, I am speechless. As I paced the waiting room, I couldn’t help worrying about the world my grandson was being born into. As parents, we do our best to teach our children love, compassion and kindness and hope that they will grow up to be responsible, caring adults, not cold blooded killers who are the focus of a far reaching manhunt.
My mood changed quickly when we were informed that my grandson had been born and both mom and baby were doing great. Cheers and tears replaced the fear and anger and a half hour later I was holding my beautiful grandson Finn. My wife and I went home a little while later to shower and bathe in the happiness of becoming grandparents again when we received a call from my daughter telling us that Boston was in total chaos and lock down. Dear God, not again, what is happening?
I turned the news on and watched as the situation unfolded. More violence, more shootings and another killing were the top stories. When was it going to stop? What else was going to happen? We rushed back up to the hospital and it seemed like the world had come to a standstill as everyone was glued intently to the media frenzy that was blaring on every television in every room.
I picked up my grandson, sat down in a rocking chair and held him closely to my heart. Looking at that sweet innocent face I couldn’t help thinking about the little boy killed in the bombings and how devastated his parents must be. With tears in my eyes I kissed his forehead and promised that I would do everything in my power to keep him and his sister safe. How would I do that? I can’t control external environments. My faith in mankind began to waver.
The situation in Boston was getting worse by the minute and nothing seemed to make sense. Police, FBI, SWAT, ATF, it was looking more like a war zone than a peaceful city and people were terrified. With my grandson in my arms and my eyes shifting between him and the television, word came that they might have the suspect. Everyone in the room held their breath as they announced he had been caught. We exhaled relief, we exhaled joy and we exhaled sorrow. I will never forget these last few days, but I refuse to remember them with fear and hate. Instead, I choose to remember them as the dark days that were transformed into light and love by the birth of an angel, an angel named Finn.