It was a week that went from triumph to tragedy in a matter of minutes, beginning with the bombing at the Boston Marathon. Through the Landmark we were able to learn of the safety of area residents who were running in the marathon.

We all coped with the tragedy in our own ways and, while doing so, Mother Nature struck the Midwest with the vengeance on April 18, as the rains poured in our area. Swan Pond was no longer a pond but a lake. Roads became flooded and impassable. Depending upon where you lived, you were either smart to stay in your home or water drove you to evacuation. “You can’t get there from here” was an applicable saying with traffic being diverted and some roads, like First Avenue, being closed until Monday.

As in many cases situations like that bring out the best in people and the worst, many choosing this as an opportunity to put blame on how things were handled. It’s not the time to take that approach.

The good in people was noticeable in those who assisted in helping, particularly many of the members of the Young Life group from Riverside-Brookfield High School along with teachers and other students released from school early, who could be seen filling sandbags in Riverside. Neighbors helped neighbors so the clean-up could begin.

That same spirit could be seen in the actions of Robin Scharpf of St. Mary’s Parish, who is coordinating help for those who may need it. Because even after the rain has stopped and the water has gone down, the real work begins.

There are those who may need a meal made, children watched, equipment to clean out basements — shop vacs, dehumidifiers — or help disposing items from the basement. If you would like to see how you can help, contact Robin at 708-254-1302 or

Yes, it was a week that put things in perspective. Here I was looking forward to attending the ecumenical Taize prayer service, and as I was in the car listening to the news, the report came out they were in the midst of capturing the second suspect in the Boston bombing.

The serenity and peace of the service, along with the beautiful music seemed to have more meaning. The water recedes and we human beings rise to the occasion as we have so many times before. We do it together.

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