I was going to review the #RecipeSwap meal I made last night. I was going to talk about my wonderful walk on Saturday with my friend Joe. I need to tell you about #HeartSwap and meeting Bex and Laura.
And then last night happened.
I'm sure by now you all know what happened in Boston. As the scenes unfolded in front of my eyes, I remembered a former colleague's family lives in Boston, that she travels there regularly, that she runs marathons and half marathons. I reinstated my Facebook to see if she and her family were ok. I glanced at my feed and saw my brother had posted something.
On Sunday, one of his best friends went to Brighton to run the marathon, with the intention of raising £500 towards Arms Around the Child (UK), a charity that provides homes for AIDs orphans in Africa and India. He reached the 16 mile mark and collapsed. Although he received what I imagine was excellent medical care, he died of a cardiac arrest. Sam Harper Brighouse was 23 years old.
My brother posted a link to Sam's Just Giving page. As more news came from Boston, and the images became more and more upsetting, I clicked on it, and I watched as the % of his target total raised went up. It went past 100%, and kept on rising, to 2,412%. He wanted to raise £500, a total that would have made quite a difference to the lives of those children. As I write, he's raised £12,061.93, through people hearing his story, and giving what they can.
I'm sure that everyone who knew him would rather he'd raised £499, finished the marathon and gone to have a drink with them at the pub afterwards. But it's things like that, the way that we as people reach out when something tragic happens, that restores my faith in humanity, particularly on an evening where the world has gone mad. As news rolled in about Boston, I kept clicking refresh on Sam's page. I watched the total rise each time. As the images and video feeds from Boston were shown, I noticed just how many people ran towards the smoke to help those who were hurt. Marathon runners, when reaching the finish line, carried on towards Massachusetts General in order to give blood to victims.
We as humans are capable of great evil. The blasts that occurred at the end of the marathon, deliberately placed where there would be the greatest number of people gathered, show that. I cannot comprehend the mentality of the person or persons who committed those acts. It sickens and saddens me that people can do that to other people.
The thing is, though, we are far more capable of acts of love and kindness. We are far more likely to lend a helping hand to someone in trouble, run towards the smoke to help the injured, or donate a few pounds when we find out that someone died when running a marathon. Even though you wouldn't see it when looking at the news, there is so much more good in this world than bad. It's just remembering this that can be quite hard after an evening like that.
If anyone would like to give towards Sam's cause, his Just Giving page can be found here: