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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Bless the Helpers

In light of yesterday's events - the bombings at the Boston Marathon - it's difficult to wake up with anything else on my mind.  Turn on the news - it's there front and center.  Read anything online - it smacks you in the face.

And of course, there has been a lot floating around Facebook about the tragedy. Was the attack the result of foreign-based enemies or homegrown?  (My gut tells me the latter and that makes it even worse.) Exactly what kind of bombs were they?  Will something on a security camera reveal everything?  And why - why would anyone do this? All these awful facts will roll out in time.

And unfortunately, there is little we as a society can do to protect ourselves against such random acts of evil.  As a friend of mine - a US Marshall - told me recently, "People want to think someone must be insane to do something awful like this [he actually was referring to the Aurora Theater Shooting of July 20, 2012; he is an investigator on the case].  But, Cindi, there are some people in the world that are just plain evil.  Just plain evil.

It's hard not to feel helpless.  To want to batten down the hatches, lock the doors and never go into the sunlight again.  But that's not realistic now, is it?

So we take a deep breath, we mourn the lost and we focus on the good in the world.  Because there's a helluva' lot of good in the world.  And it is a simple as this:

"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'"  *Fred Rogers*

So as the events unfolded yesterday and the networks showed endless repetitive footage of the bombings - in all of the tragedy there were good things, too.  There were the helpers.  The helpers - rather than running away from the blasts - were running into them.  To help.  Without thought for their own well-being; they knew they were needed.

It immediately brought back thoughts - and images - from September 11, 2001. We all remember how the first responders - hundreds of them - ran into those buildings without hesitation.  They were the helpers.

The view from Windows on the World - 107th Floor, North Tower of the World Trade Center, New York City, NY - September 8, 2001

It also got me thinking about helpers on a smaller scale, on a local level.  On a family level. There is good all around us.

My mother-in-law told me once that she felt she was put on Earth to serve.  And she has served well ~ family and strangers alike.  I have known her for 22 years and she is one of the most altruistic, caring and giving people I have ever known.  

And then there's my Mom. She raised five kids, worked the night shift as a nurse at our local hospital and at 94 is still the one people turn to for help.  She is the epitome of helper ~ and someone I can only aspire to emulate.

I can sum them both up with one quote:

"A mother is a person - who seeing there are only four pieces of pie left for five people - promptly announces she never did care for pie." *Tenneva Jordan

That, my friends, describes Terry and Esther to a tee.  And trust me, they like pie.

So today, I'm choosing to look to the helpers and be grateful that there are those among us who put others' needs before their own.  

Bless the helpers and keep them safe.

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