A lonely tear slipped onto my cheek as I drove along Highway 4 and absorbed the press conference being held by Massachusetts General Hospital Chief of Emergency Services, Dr. Alasdair Conn and Chief of Trauma Surgery Dr. George Velmahos. I continued to listen to the new updates for a few minutes then touched my radio to make it go away.
The tragic coincidence in the types of injuries and the nature of the event are maddening. Many runners with legs fatigued and cramping found a new agony as they ran to the aid of so many that will never walk or run again. The family who lost an 8-year-old son is particularly painful to think about. Nearly 1 year ago exactly, I crossed the finish line of the hardest race of my life - into the arms of my waiting 8-year-old and 2-year-old daughters, wife, and parents. The father of this young man now grieves the loss of his son while sitting by the bed of his badly injured wife and daughter.
What balm is there for this? What salve for those wounds?
I think I'm writing this as a catharsis for myself, as I am impotent to make any impact whatever in the way of good there. But I pray. I beg and I pray and I hug my girls when I get home and try to push the evil away as far as I can.
I run the Mt. Diablo Trails Challenge again this weekend. I hope they have a moment of silence at the beginning of that race. If it's not official, then I will pray alone, to God who knows and sees and is just and good. His ways are past finding out - but I will also ask why? I don't anticipate an answer in that moment, but when He wipes all tears away some day, I will ask again, and His answer will show all things well done.
But for now - we pray.