Back in The Day – When the World Seemed Simpler and Safer


Today two bombs went off near the finish line at the Boston Marathon killing and injuring people who had gone out to see the race – perhaps the crown jewel of American marathons.  What should have been a joyous celebration of a great accomplishment for the athletes who participated, became a nightmare for those affected – and aren’t we all affected?

I was there in 2004 watching my husband run and finish the Boston marathon.  It was a great day, in a great city at arguably the greatest American marathon.  While waiting for him to finish, I saw the  triumphant winners of the race cross the finish line and, a little later, a man who was running the race,  drop to his knee, draw a big heart in chalk on the street  and ask his stunned girlfriend, a spectator,  to marry him as he took a ring box out of his running shorts.  I saw my husband, a bit sunburned, tired and full of joy, cross the finish line.  The atmosphere was charged with joy and exuberance   I could never have imagined at that time, the day ending like it did for those there today.  The race, after 117 years, will never be the same again.

I was born in December 1966.  Not that long ago (I like to think) but somehow so far removed from the world we live in now that it seems like a very long time ago.  The world, though not without challenges back in the day, seemed so much simpler and safer.  As a child, I did things that people would not dream of letting their children do today.  I walked home from elementary school without an adult to accompany me;  I played outside – in front of the house, sometimes until after dark; I bought ice cream from the ice cream man; I went to amusement parks, sporting events and concerts without having my backpack searched; I drove myself to and from a community college 15 miles away weekly to play in a jazz band with college students when I was 16 years old.  I felt safe in my community and in my country.

It makes me more than a little sad that children  are now  growing up a world where it is not considered safe to walk to and from school alone and where they expect to have their bags checked at amusement parks and sporting events.  It makes me sad that an innocent child was reportedly killed today at the Boston Marathon on a day that should have been fun and full of excitement and joy.  It makes me sad that people exist among us that are so angry, bitter and spiteful that they feel compelled to injure and kill other people as a means to get their message across.  I cannot imagine what brings people to a place of feeling that the only way they can be heard is through violence.

Tonight I will pray for those affected by violence.  I will pray for our country and our world.  I will pray for a generation of children who don’t know what it was like before shootings and bombings were in the news weekly.  I will pray for the people who impart their hatred and anger unto the world.  I will pray for a simpler and safer future.


  1. Maureen Gallagher says:

    Thank you Terri. You put my feelings into words. My heart hurts for our beautiful country, let alone our planet. My grandchildren ask me why people are so mean. I don’t have the answers to their questions. I, like you pray for a simpler and safe future for all of our little ones. And, before I forget, I love you for all the happy days.