It’s a beautiful spring day and what I really want to do right now is go outside with my camera and capture some of the beautiful blossoms that adorn the geography of my property.
But instead, I’m going to take some time to go back to a not so beautiful day, and revisit some awful feelings from the event that took place. Because all over social media I’m seeing the words “it’s over.”
And it really isn’t over…for many people.
I know that all too well and my heart is heavy for those who are dealing with the aftermath of the explosions in Boston.
Three people’s lives were taken and countless others were wounded and are still recovering from physical injuries. Many more bore witness to this horrible tragedy. And for all of those people, it is far from “over.”
For them, in many ways, it will never be over. For each of them will carry pieces of this event with them for the rest of their lives.
I know this because four years ago, my grandmother was brutally beaten to death in her home and even now, it’s still not “over” for me.
They caught the kid who did it within 24 hours of us finding her—and just like the Boston event, he was 19 years old. At that point, it wasn’t “over”—in fact, it was only beginning. There were two good weeks where I don’t remember sleeping at all.
Sure, in the hours prior to catching him, my parents and I were holed up in a dark house, watching out the window, listening for every little sound, scared shitless that he was going to get us too. But for weeks after that, the anxiety levels were through the roof. Every night I laid in bed trying to get the pictures out of my mind.
Like a bad movie, the possible scenes played through my head of how it might have happened. And there was no off button. It kept playing, rewinding itself over and over and over it kept me awake and continually fearful.
What was I afraid of? He was caught and that should have meant that it was “over”…right?
Well, you never really expect your loved ones to be taken from you by murder, or a horrible bombing as is the case in Boston, but once it happens, your body goes into fight or flight mode and seems to want to keep itself ready in case it happens again. So, you’re constantly on edge. Ask anyone who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and they will tell you exactly how hypersensitive you are to every bad thing happening around you.
They will tell you that every bad thing that could possibly happen will play over in your mind and you’ll spend days, weeks, months, trying to get back to a “normal” life while this new way of being prepared takes over every good thought that you try to think.
And then there are the legal proceedings; these can go on for years.
It was almost three years before that part was over for us. After three years, the boy decided to agree on a plea to first degree murder in exchange for dropping the death penalty and avoid going to trial.
During those three years, we spent countless hours waiting patiently for every little step of the way to complete itself. We waited and wondered how much longer it would be until we could put this all behind us. And when that day finally came, I admit that a weight lifted off my shoulders…but even then it still wasn’t “over.”
Because now, it continues to follow me through my life, each step I take, the thoughts of the event continue to stay with me.
Each decision I make and everything that I am faced with, I am and always will be the survivor of a victim of a pointless and senseless crime. While I am able to see beauty and joy in the world, the sorrow that lies underneath it all will never fully go away and it will never truly be “over.”
It changed me—and, it will surely change each person that survived the bombings in Boston.
Tawyna Wagner is a multi-talented owner of a photography business located in South Central Pennsylvania and an etsy shop where she is currently finding homes for five generations of family heirlooms. She has a love for all things vintage (especially the sentimental pieces that have ancestral stories attached to them), the beach (more specifically Ocracoke Island, North Carolina), her gorgeous twin boys and pretty much all things creative. She’s a strong advocate of supporting all things local, natural living, being kind to the environment, self-sustaining and anything that involves creativity and art. You can find her here or here.
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Ed: Bryonie Wise