I woke up yesterday morning with lots to do. The day was not intended to be typical, but at the very least, should have been uneventful. There are great blessings in slow-news days. Apparently, yesterday was not going to be one of them.
We were getting the house blessed by the priest, but before that, my Grandmother was doing the same. She asked that I be there and, with me, all you have to do is ask and you can count on me (it's a character flaw, I know). So, right after drop-off at school I booked it to my 90-year old Grandmother's house and prepped the water, the candle, and my Grandmother. The priest arrived, we chatted, then headed on over to my humble abode. The blessing was performed, the house was Holy-fied, and the priest left.
After doing a couple loads of laundry and paying bills, it was time to get some paper products at the ol' warehouse store. Typical day thrown in with a house blessing and all was pretty much normal. You move through the rhythm of the day, not skipping a beat, walking to the cadence in your head and without warning, a tempo change is about to happen.
After shopping, I get back into the car to drive to Kiddo's school, listening to News Radio, and I'm trying to piece words together: Boston Marathon, explosion, dead. Then in an instant the familiar beat of the day becomes a beat I don't recognize; a crazy time signature change or something? As I'm taking it all in, intensely concentrating on the faceless voice coming out of my car speaker, I slowly realize I am leaving the "before" and entering into "in an instant".
In an instant, the world I woke up in this morning is not the same world I wake up in tomorrow.
In an instant, a post-9/11 recovering nation is reminded of its vulnerabilities.
In an instant, the same street walked just weeks ago in front of the White House during our D.C. trip is blocked off for security and we enter into a too familiar era once again.
In an instant, I can already hear the dinner conversation later that day, Kiddo sitting across from me while Super Hubby and I try to help him make sense of something we do not understand ourselves.
In an instant, the fatalities bring forth families that will deal with even more confusion and bitter loss.
In an instant, the lives of the wounded are changed forever as they fight to recover from their twist of fate.
Whenever there is an "in an instant" moment, there's always a "before" and "after" the instant. I think about my day "before" and how "normal" it was running errands and doing chores; and I think about what effect this incident will have in the "after".
I pull in to the school car pool line, slightly late. I open the door, Kiddo gets in the car, innocently still living in the "before". The Director of the school stops me to talk about a display case, I think? Still numb from the news, I only comprehend half of what he is saying. I realize that neither the Director nor any of the teachers in carpool are aware as to what has happened only 15 minutes ago. The entire time the news broke, they were in car pool, escorting children to their parents. Their moment of awareness had yet to occur. They were living in the "before". I decided to shelve the town crier hat and have them live in the "before" just a little while longer. When they return to their classrooms to check e-mail, they will have had their "in an instant" moment and have to live in the "after" just like the rest of us.
Lord, give us the grace to still dance in the "after", even if it's to a new tune. Peace and comfort be with Boston and those affected by this tragic event.