Tuesday, October 15, 2013

4-15-13 -- Six Months Later

I was so lucky. I was there and I was so fortunate to have been insulated from witnessing carnage as the 2nd bomb exploded across the street from the Spaulding Rehab Race for Rehab team celebration suite in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

My life was changed forever at approximately 2:50 pm on 4/15/13. My first thought after our dear friend Greg Gordon courageously went to the window overlooking Boylston Street told us "It's a tragedy. People are down," was "You have got to be kidding me. Don't I get some kind of trauma exemption after all I lived through?"

But we don't. Life happens. Horrible things happen and the question becomes, what do we do in the aftermath of these situations?

I gained clarity in many areas of my life. My priorities changed. Relationships changed and those that really mattered became more dear and precious to me. I let go of those relationships that did not honor the Truths that I believe in or did not honor me. With Joseph's skillful and dedicated work, I allowed my wounds of trauma to surface and be healed.

I traded in my yoga mat for the Aquatics Therapy Program at Spaulding Rehab where, under the watchful eye of trained therapists, I am able to build strength.

The wounds and the emotional pain, as intense as it may feel at times, are a whisper of what they once were. The wounds are no longer festering and infected but are healing and transforming into scars. I can feel the healing of my mind, body and soul. I feel a sense of vibrancy and deep deep gratitude and appreciation that I am here---that I am alive especially given how close to death I came when I contracted paralytic polio, during my father's alcoholic rages and my grandmother's psychotic rituals and then on April 15 when we did not know what happened or what was going to happen and whether or not we were going to make it safely to our car and back to our home.

Even though I tremble at times and feel the hair on the back of my neck stand on end; even though my body is still responding and healing as a result of the terror that day and the days that followed, and to the 9 years of terror I had come to know growing up in a chaotic household, I also feel strength and resilience. I feel greater ease and comfort in my own skin and I can feel grounded even as my body may tremble at times and the sadness pours forth from my heart. I feel a sense of celebration that although we all may be a little worse for wear, we are all healing and moving forward.

I feel a resolve to create meaning and purpose in my life through the sharing of my healing story bringing my message of healing, hope and possibility to others.

Here are stories of healing, hope and possibility from marathon bombing survivors.

Former UT Swimmer Returns to Pool Six Months After the Bombings
She taps into her inner athlete to help her heal

Jane Richard 7, Boston bombing survivor sings Anthem at Red Sox Game

Boston Bombing Survivor Serves as Honorary Starter for Baltimore Marathon

Six Months Later A Boston Marathon Bombing Survivor story

Boston Marathon Bombing Survivor Runs Chicago Marathon

And how appropriate that I began my day in Aquatics Therapy Class at Spaulding Rehab where so many bombing survivors found their strength; the place where I found my strength to begin a 7 year healing odyssey in October of 2006, and where I continue to build my strength as a part of the Boston community where together we are indeed Boston Strong.

Be Grateful

Be grateful you’re alive
and never give up
even when your body and mind
freak out
find peace
in the center of your soul
feel your Essence.

and in that moment of surrender
feel joy
freedom in detachment
abiding with the deepest darkest fear
difficulties transform into awakening
free fall
sky diving
the thrill of being fully alive.

Be grateful
feel every sensation
each moment passes
strength of Spirit
thrives in the face of adversity
coal becomes diamond
gold forged in the crucible
hidden treasures
be grateful.

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