I had an entirely different post planned for today but yesterday’s events overrode all else. My heart and prayers go out to the people of Boston. I can honestly say, “Been there, done that.”
On April 19, 1995, I’d just sat down with a fresh cup of coffee. My dogs acted oddly, rushing to the glass door in the family room and staring in the direction of downtown. Moments later, the “sonic boom” hit, rattling windows and setting my feet on a path that still haunts me all these years later.
I was a forensic fire photographer attached to the airport fire department. One of the few forensic photographers in this state. I was in uniform and headed toward the scene at the Murrah Federal Building before my pager went off. I spent a lifetime down there documenting things. The PTSD fades until the media starts making a big deal of it right before the anniversary.
On 9-11, I was a crime analyst/technical investigator (CSI) with an area police department. From my desk in the detective bay, I watched the towers come down and I realized I’d lost friends from FEMA SAR New York Task Force 1 made during the Murrah. My first thought was to load up my SUV with equipment and supplies and go to New York. Yeah. And yesterday, despite a roiling stomach and bile rising in my throat, despite shaking hands and my chest constricted by what feels like steel bands so that I could barely breathe, I wanted to grab my gear, load up my SUV and head to Boston.
I’m a writer. I capture pictures in words. It’s my “job” to peek into the dark crevices within the human psyche to add depth to my characters. But no matter how long I live, no matter how long I study human nature, I will never understand how people can be so inhumane and cruel.
Dear Boston, get well soon.