Nine is the number my grandson forgot to mention in this video:
It is the final single digit in the course of counting.
It is a perfect square, divisible by 3.
In minutes, it’s long enough to make a really good sandwich
or take a nice hot shower.
Maybe to vacuum the main floor of the house, clean the bathroom or drink a good latte,
In nine minutes you can check your emails, facebook, phone messages and twitter.
Until yesterday, nine represented the distance in qualifying minutes between Boston and me.
Now, nine means something different.
Nine is the number of candles on a cake that 8-year-old bombing victim, Martin Richard will never see. As he sat there innocently with his family, watching the race, he was robbed of his life, not yet nine.
Martin is described by neighbours and friends as a vivacious boy who loved to run and climb; he was a member of a little league.
I can imagine him excited, wonder-filled and enjoying the glorious hype that comes with the power of collective racing, running, enjoying, being.
He enjoyed running.
He will never see nine.
Martin, I have never met you but I honour you and cry for your family. I apologize from the bottom of my heart for every time I have ever said, “If I ran Boston, I could die happy.”
I didn’t mean it. I am sorry for my flippancy and lack of respect for life.
My mind can’t handle ‘what if’ when I think of all the times friends and family have watched me race.
If I could hug your family--I can’t begin to imagine their pain--I would. I pray that your community and the world surrounds them and gives them some type of peace.
I am so sorry this happened. You deserved better.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Thank God there are also numbers greater than nine.
As I watched footage of the disaster, I saw dozens of support personnel rushing in to help. I saw lists of homes, eager to house and feed stranded runners. I heard of runners, weary from their race running straight to the hospital to give blood.
I saw compassion, love, hope, help, so insurmountable it can’t be quantified by numbers. On this world stage where unspeakable evil occurred, we also witnessed people performing good in unlimited measure .
Let’s not forget to give our attention to those that saw an opportunity to help, to be of assistance, to try in the most horrible circumstance to be of some good.