Boston. The city where I attended New England School of Law for two years, where my sister died on the 20th floor of Massachusetts General Hospital of breast cancer on April 21, 2005, and where my father was located yesterday. My father, Edward Csizmar, is a born again Christian. After his daughter lost her life to cancer, my father decided to “give back” by driving patients into Massachusetts General for weekly cancer treatments because they cannot drive home after chemotherapy. So, while I was in bed recovering from a nasty bout of the flu, I woke at 3:10 PM and turned on the television. That is when I witnessed this horrible atrocity which has injured so many and killed three, the youngest, an innocent eight year old who only wanted to see greet his father after running in the Boston Marathon. Not only is this an annual race between people from all over the world, but it was Patriot’s Day, the holiday that I grew up with and just assumed everyone else did too. As I watched the screen flash at that point in time, 23 injured and 2 dead, I decided to call my mother to see if my Dad was still at the hospital. I just assumed that he was.
“Mom, hi,” and of course a short moment of silence on the other end. I just turned on the television since I have been sick all day and I cannot believe it,” I exclaimed! “I know, it’s terrible,” she remarked. “Is Dad home yet, or still in the city?,” I asked in concern. “Oh, he just walked in the door,” she replied. “Yes, I am glad that he got home before a traffic jam prevented him from returning so late, she explained. Oh, he wants to talk with you,” she said. “Hi, Mel. I was going over the bridge when the police sirens were signaling by me and I thought, well maybe there was another robbery. We’ve had some continous robberies in Boston lately,” he told me. As he is explaining this, a flash from the movie that took place in Charlestown is running through my head, The Town. He continued as I listened, “But then when I heard the second one and the third, I thought, something serious is going on here.” “Well I am glad you are home safely as I was thinking that you would be at Mass General when the ambulances were bringing in many people,” I continued. So after we hung up our phones and I continued to watch the blood, the courageous citizens, visitors, policeman and fellow family members, running with wheelchairs in hand, tears ran down my eyes. I could only think of the Charles River song whose lyrics go like this, Love that dirty water, oh Boston you’re my home.”
My home, yes, the city that I loved and still do even though my sister died there on the critical condition floor, the 20th, where some of the most seriously ill people are treated. Thanks to the nurses and doctors, they did an amazing job with her but God just chose not to heal April. I know the pain of losing someone there, so I feel for the people whose families and others are being treated at Mass General, Children’s Hospital and some of the others-some of the best hospitals this country has and the world has ever known.
Other flashbacks that came into my head were the days that I stood in front of my students at a private, Christian school, and the announcement came over our loud speaker and into my classroom, that the Twin Towers had just been careened into by two airplanes. As a class we prayed and the next day a male student came into Spanish class and explained that his uncle was on his way to the Pentagon on 9/11. He was retiring from his career that day and fortunately his alarm went off late. Because of that and maybe our prayers around that same time, he got to work late and was not in the Pentagon when the crash has occurred. Wow! That was an amazing story we all thougt as a class.
Amazing stories are difficult to really perceive and understand though when you know that the enemy, whatever you might want to call him, is right out your front door. The bully is right there everyday waiting to take you down whether you believe he is in person, a ghost, a phenomenom or the Devil himself disguised in everything from the Boston Marathon atrocity to 9/11, or to your only sister dying of a disease that could not be healed. And although that enemy stands strong, remember the scene that he could not take away as it plays over and over again on your television set and in the minds of those who were present at the Boston Marathon yesterday. To the left was the American flag standing tall and proud, its red, white and blue waving in the wind. To the right, was a long line of flags from all over the world. Then there was our President who said yesterday in his Press Conference, “Boston is a tough and resilient town and so are its people.” So Boston, as you cry, mourn, and clean up the mess while doctors and nurses continue to operate on and save the lives of those who are injured, remember this, Carry On, Despite the Bully Out Your Front Door! You are not only Bostonians but Americans and don’t ever give up the fight!