I’ve recently realized that making a list of definitive “Favorite Movies” might be a futile effort because I will always be seeing movies that stick with me forever. I do have a singular favorite (E.T.), but I can’t rank anything beyond that, so when someone asked me to list my favorites in order recently, I gave them this list of movies I would consider among my favorites. (NOTE: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is missing.)
Twenty years ago this week, the Rwandan genocide began. It’s estimated 800,000 to a million people were killed over 100 days. Most were Tutsi but tens of thousands were moderate Hutu and others caught in the slaughter.
The country today is commemorating by holding a week of mourning alongside a longer 100-day vigil.
The #Rwanda20yrs hashtag on Twitter is an at times sobering, enlightening and inspiring access point to news, resources and personal accounts of the period.
Slate, Unreconciled Rwanda; can survivors really forgive those that murdered family and loved ones, and what policies has the Rwandan government put in place to foster reconciliation attempts.
Image: Via National Geographic, “A man tries to unlock a cell door at a hospital in Kigali, Rwanda in 1994. As the genocide spread across the country, doctors and staff of the main psychological hospital in Kigali fled or were killed leaving the patients to care for themselves.” Photo by David Guttenfelder. Revisiting the Rwandan Genocide: Origin Stories From The Associated Press. Select to embiggen.
This is Camden, my 8-year-old son. He was at the finish last year wearing his “my mom is faster than your dad” T-shirt and holding up the sign he had made me. He never got to see me finish. He was sent off into the crowds full of panic and fear. He listened to the adults he was with and did what he was told. He was brave. He tried blocking his ears but the noise was too loud.
Camden thought his mom was “dead.”
In the months after the bombings last year, I would watch him sleep. It brought me back to the first few weeks he was born, when I would stand by his crib to make sure he was breathing.
Last year, I would stand by his bed and cry, knowing that my brave little man never got to show me the sign he made; knowing my race had put him in harms way; reliving the two hours I spent in silence not knowing if he was safe.
I felt guilt and anger.
Camden won’t be at the finish this year. He said “sorry mom, I just can’t go.” I am running Boston to show Camden that his mom is brave and that, with time, he will be able to go to the Boston Marathon again.
He will be able to see a fire truck without looking scared or watch fireworks without jumping into our laps in a panic. He will be able to sit through a thunderstorm without running for cover.
The thought of him not being at the finish breaks my heart and will open up a new stream of emotions. And I am sure when I get home on April 21st, 2014, I will watch Camden fall asleep and I will cry. Tears of happiness that together we did it!