When acts of terrorism strike home we want our loved ones close. We want to see their faces, understand their emotions, and reassure each other that we are safe, we are resilient, we are Americans, and we will overcome. Watching the footage of my beloved Boston being bombed during the marathon struck dread in my heart and stained the city where I went to college. The very street I walked everyday for seven years was in chaos. My fellow Bostonians, my fellow Emersonians, shocked, horrified, and under attack. This was also the street I walked day after day with the love of my life. We were in college in those days, younger, not yet engaged, idealistic, ready to take on the world. But in the past two weeks, this world has taken us on- and in hearing the news of the Boston Marathon bombing, I stood alone.
For the second time in two weeks I was in fear at the hands of world politics. Like many Americans who today find themselves trying to resume normal tasks under the crushing blow of terror, I too have been living that reality since early last week when Hubby traveled deep into rural Bangladesh. Because Bangladesh has a minimal role in world power, only the truly tragic headlines are read. But within Bangladesh there is an uprising calling for blasphemy laws to be passed, and what was once peaceful has escalated from transportation disruption to mob mentality and fatalities. So on a long, high bridge, in the middle of nowhere, my husband's car was met by 150 angry protestors demanding and shouting words he did not understand, caught in an uprising in which he held no stake. But there he was with two co-workers being attacked with rocks, sticks, and bare hands. The crowd frustration grew as access inside the car was denied. Soon the car was being pushed, rocking closer and closer to the bridge's edge. Certain his only means of survival would be a chance dive into the muddy river below, my husband's long time belief that he would die on a bridge was seemingly about to be proven true. Just at that moment, for reasons unknown, the protestors retreated just enough for the car to pass and my husband's driver sped on as fast as one can on an old rural road. Though Hubby made it safely to the secure work compound, in days he would have to make the trip back under worsening conditions.
On the phone with Hubby as he relayed this near death experience, I felt the blood drain from my body. The cold knowing that I could lose someone so dear to a nation whose politics I did not mold, did not vote for, was not even aware of their social or religious motives. My world, in that moment, became surreal. I felt powerless to offer any help or aid. All I could do was wait and pray. Though we agreed not to tell our daughter what was happening, like all children, she is intuitive. She cried for her Dad that day- missing him terribly- but still not aware that she nearly lost him.
In the end, Hubby was escorted by armed guards back to Dhaka and promptly left Bangladesh for Singapore. We texted immediately about the Boston Marathon bombs. He won't be home until Saturday. The day after his 46th birthday. But he will be home. We will share cake and the three of us will hold each other closer than ever before. This same luxury will not be afforded to many who were victims while innocently attending the Boston Marathon. People who simply were celebrating another normal day in their lives, routine, regular, happy. Lives now torn apart by the politics, religion, or idealism in which they play no part, have no stake. May they, their families and their friends, all be lifted up in prayer from our grieving Nation.
LOVE & PEACE