My best friend since pre-school, Stephanie, attends school at the University of Boston. She ran the Boston Marathon both last year and the year before. She was definitely the first person who popped into my head when I heard the tragic news of the haunting events that occurred at the finish line on Monday. But after an initial minute of panic, I remembered that Stephanie is in Ireland right now. Has been for the entire semester, studying abroad.
It is sickening and disheartening to me that even the innocent act of celebrating an active lifestyle can turn into something so deadly and dangerous. My heart goes out to all who were physically, emotionally, and spiritually injured in the midst of this horrible violence.
But my mind goes in a different direction- in a direction that wonders why and how reasons for every act, every chance, every outcome of fate, are interconnected. Stephanie was in Ireland during the marathon this year. What would have happened had she been here? Would she have been one of the three killed at the finish line? Would she have been one of the hundreds of severely injured runners who may never run a marathon again? Was she in Ireland just to study abroad, or was she in Ireland because fate wanted to protect her?
This reminds me of a similar story. In the early nineties, my boyfriend’s mom, Laura, was traveling in France. She was pregnant with my boyfriend, Dan. She was supposed to catch a train at precisely 1:37 in the afternoon in order to arrive at her next destination in time, but she and her friends were temptationally cornered by an authentic Fondue restaurant that begged them to surrender their tickets and enjoy one last French fine dining experience.
Later that day, Laura received news that the exact train she and her friends were supposed to take to Germany had crashed. Several people were killed in the accident, and many were injured.
Since then, Laura has always said that “Fondue saved [her] life that day.” But was it the Fondue that saved she and Dan’s lives, or was it fate?
Sometimes it’s nearly impossible to ignore the cliche that “everything happens for a reason.” Does anyone have similar stories or examples of events where they felt like fate was for or against them? Close calls where an instinctive decision changed a life, or saved a life…funny feelings that shielded you from dangerous outcomes?
I think that after tragedies like the Boston Marathon, it’s important to try to remember times that fate has worked in our favor.