April 22nd, 2013
This week has been a blur…with all that occurred at the marathon.
My family and I were there as spectators this year, as we have done most years. We currently live in Hopkinton (which hosts the starting line for the marathon) and Bill is involved with town committees and for the past two years has helped organize official marathon events in town. Previously we lived in Brookline, which is next to Boston. Bill grew up in Brookline and so did his mother. Also, Bill ran the Boston marathon years ago when Brook was little (we watched him go by from our front lawn in Brookline, which was right on the marathon route)…our history with this race runs deep.
Last Monday, we headed off to see the race from Ashland (next to our current home town of Hopkinton). For many years we’ve been going to the same spot to see the runners go by, and we always meet up with Bill’s sister and her family there. Going to the marathon and bringing our kiddies is something that we all look forward to every year.
We go there to cheer on the mobility impaired racers…
…to watch the elite fly by…
…to see the crowds, and the look of determination on their faces. It’s all very exciting, and very inspiring. Every year this incredible scene moves me to tears.
But this year it was all too horribly different. When the deadly bombings occurred, and all that followed, it scared me to the core. And I am at a loss for words to describe the grief that I feel for the people who were killed or injured. Yet at the same time, I can sense hope through watching how others (marathon volunteers, police, spectators, doctors) immediately went to the rescue, putting their own lives in danger while focusing solely on helping the injured. Humanity is good and kind and loving…for sure.
Yesterday, Bill and I went back into Boston. Originally, we wanted to go there to attend the interfaith service that was happening in the South End, but I got cold feet. As we were driving towards the city I started worrying about the fact that there might be others out there crazy enough to want to hurt more people (I was afraid that someone might attempt to bomb or shoot at the service goers). The terrible things that happened at the marathon bombing were still too fresh in my mind.
However, we still headed into the city in the direction of the memorial on Boylston Street…wanting to pay our respects and sort of hoping to find some kind of peace. Unfortunately, the parking was tight so we didn’t make it all the way to the memorial sight…but what we saw all along the way was very reassuring. There were a lot of people out, walking around and going to restaurants, and shopping even…it all felt very normal. Except for the extra police presence and some blocked off streets, everything seemed okay…and I think I needed to see this everydayness to feel calmer again.
Here’s a look from yesterday. A beautiful day on a beautiful street…
…with trees bursting with blooms.
The streets felt safe again…
…and the sky said the same.
Brook is back at school today (she was off last week for Spring break), and Bill will be at work. I have some work myself, and then some errands to run…thankfully, things are moving back to normal for us. Yet I know that for those who were hit hardest it will continue to be a tough struggle. And all that I can think of to help is to reach out more to everyone around me, in our community and all around (let what moves us motivate us to make a difference). Together, we can make the world a better place. As Ghandi said “You must be the change you wish to see in the world”. I think this applies whether you’re in West, Texas, or facing the floods in the Midwest or the earthquake in China or any other disaster. We’re all in it together.