More Bombs Found on Rail Tracks in Spain. All Aboard!

Flowers on trackThe train slowed. The sign at the station read Narbonne. From here we’d enjoy our last remaining minutes in France before boarding a train that would take us across the border to Spain. My stomach had been pelted with nervous pings all morning. I tried to recall something – anything I’d ever experienced that generated such a feeling of impending doom. In my relatively sheltered lifetime, I’ve never seen my neighborhood or friends blown up. I never had to get used to the notion that at any minute everything could go black. How could anybody live with that? Such were the thoughts floating around the outside of my skull – tapping ever so gently, trying to get inside. My best defense was thinking of the simple words I’d heard after the Madrid bombings – somebody who’d learned to get through stuff like this – good ol’ Mr. M.

Press On.

While dodging chilly raindrops, the eight of us raced into the crowded train station and formed a circle around our bags. The kids joked about something and their outbursts of laughter echoed through the crowded station. Chris and I broke away and headed toward the news stand. I pulled a bottle of Orangina from the case and handed it to him. His eyes lit up. This orange soda had become his favorite thing in all of France. I wasn’t sure if it was available in Barcelona. We wandered over to the rack against the wall and I reached for a copy of the Herald-Tribune. A headline stood out: “Bomb Found on Rail Track in Spain.” My heart jumped as the bold words attacked me, describing another undetonated bomb made from the same materials used in Madrid. The article speculated more would follow. My hands were shaking so much I could barely hold the paper. I glanced at Chris then at my loved ones out in the lobby. Was it too late to turn back?

Press on.

As we walked back toward the group, I noticed Chris had a disturbed look on his face.

“Dad.” he said quietly, “a magazine in there, had pictures of the train bombing.”

My feeling of dread turned to anger.

“A dead lady was still in her seat. A piece of steel was coming out of her stomach.”  He paused for a moment. “Her eyes were still open.”

I silently cursed the European media. I cursed myself for not keeping a better eye on him at the rack. I put my arm around his shoulder and realized all this had dropped me in a place I’d never been before. The earthquakes and fires back home were nothing compared to this. I searched my brain and my heart for something encouraging for my son, but nothing came.

Finally, I suggested we say a little prayer for the lady’s family. And for us.

More about the Madrid Bombing’s on MWDI Facebook

NEXT: Don’t Shoot Me – I’m on Vacation!

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