Sunday, June 9, 2013

When a National Tragedy Hits Too Close to Home

It was one of those moments that time slows to a freeze, and you lose sight of everything around you as your mind focuses on a single piece of information that it grapples to comprehend.

For me the latest instance was when I was in the pharmacy at the clinic making call backs and filling prescriptions. I remember hearing over the radio that there was a report that an explosion had just occurred near the finish line of the Boston marathon. As I heard it I stopped, and looked at the people around me.

"Did you just hear that?" I asked.

"No," they all replied. I repeated what I had heard. They didn't seem to understand the relevance of my relay.

"Dave is running that today." I said.

David Stevenson is one of five veterinarians at our practice, Jarrettsville Veterinary Center, in Jarrettsville, MD. He is an avid runner and has run most of his life. We all knew he had taken the weekend, today and the following day off to head to Boston to run this marathon.

The initial reports were sketchy and inconsistent. I waited another thirty minutes for any real piece of news to be reported.

It wasn't until I was on my way home, when the radio announced that near the finish line at 4 hours and 9 minutes into the marathon that an explosion had occurred. I knew that unless Dave had run his worst marathon ever that he was probably long past the dangerous blast.

I had been texting Dave and calling and not received any word. Within minutes every person at the clinic was searching for any information we could find on the events of the days marathon. None of us had heard from him and all of us were worried. As I was texting, and calling to leave messages, I was thinking about our dear friend Tyler. On the morning of his death I had heard unconfirmed rumors that he had been in "a very bad automobile accident." All I could do was call and text and hope that he would call or text back saying that he was "just fine." I was petrified to think I was leaving messages again on a deceased persons phone. It is a ghostly empty feeling that I can recollect like it is burnished in the most vulnerable place of my soul.

The turmoil of the days after 9/11 resurfaced and I knew that likely cell phones were being overwhelmed or jammed and a city was dealing with fear of another attack and casualties from some unknown terrorist whose motives we would never understand. I hoped, just like I had a decade ago, that this was just some tragic accident, without intent of hurting anyone, versus a statement of some religiously driven political outrage.

In both instances I had been wrong, but despite the efforts of a few, the faith, spirit and love of many others had once again proven that fear and hate are always slain by good.

Dr. Dave Stevenson called me later that night to tell me that he was on a bus on his way to the hotel when the bomb went off, and that he was safe and sound.

The June 2013 veterinary publication DVM360 wrote an article about the veterinarians that ran that fateful run. Dr. Stevenson was interviewed and stated that he wants to run the marathon again next year. He has run 36 of them..quite an amazing feat. Knowing Dave he will keep on running through any stumbling block that anyone tries to trip him up on. He, like so many Americans, is not waivered by the terrorists who try to break our spirit, our independence or our pursuit for life and liberty.

To read more abut this article please see; dvm360

1 comment:

  1. Hi Y'all!

    My Human always says to say "thank you" for resourcefulness, caring, love and the "American spirit".

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog