I didn’t post last week because I was in the midst of a sewing project that was giving me conniption fits. Last week that project was important to me, this week, it’s not so important.
This week’s post was going to be a vegetarian wild mushroom/onion ragu that I made for my husband’s niece for after she finished the Boston Marathon. This was Chrissie’s third and anticipated last Boston run after taking a bye last year due to the extreme heat wave we had. She flew to Connecticut from Washington, D.C. to her mother’s and they drove here Sunday morning then headed into Boston to pick up her number and tracking chip. Let me say now that my family is safe.
After dropping Chrissie off at the race start in Hopkinton, John and his sister took their usual spot along the route to wait for her to go by. People lined the streets as they do every year holding signs, wearing bright clothes so their runner can spot them in the massive crowds. It’s a fun day, a happy, cheerful day and all runners get support every step of the way – the wheelchair racers, the National Guardsmen running with 80 lb. packs, the elite, the 2nd wave, and almost 600 runners in the 65 and older category. Everyone gets cheers because it’s an event where just qualifying to run for 26 miles is an achievement to be proud of. Everyone deserves their moment of glory because they earned it.
After Chrissie ran by, my husband sent me a text at 2:50 to say that they were heading for the train to meet her at the finish line. But thinking of the crowds in years past at the finish line, they decided to get off one stop before which was a longer walk but was fortuitous because it put them one street away at 3:50 when the explosions turned a joyful day into a gut wrenching mass of confusion. Chrissie had finished the race but doubled back heading back toward the finish line to get her backpack from the bus when the blasts ripped through the area in front of her. Clouds of black smoke billowed down the street and people were now running, pushing her away from the blast area.
Horror and confusion doesn’t adequately express the feeling in your gut when something like this happens and you do not know where your family is or what their status is. At 4:05 a text finally came through from my husband – “we are all right”. Calls had been shut down but some texts were eventually getting through although service was obviously on overload. You cannot believe the frustration of not being able to communicate immediately and directly though when reports were coming through of other bombs potentially being in the area. You just want to scream loud enough for them to hear … “get further away from the area, keep moving away”.
I just wanted everyone back home, safe. But all public transportation was in lock down and everyone was trying to grab the available cabs. Really good people are out there though. A kind stranger in a van pulled over for John, Mary, and Chrissie and got them out of the city so they could get to the car and finally come home. Thank you ma’am…I don’t know your name but I know you are a good person.
I’m sure you’ve heard and seen many graphic, horrendous stories and photos and I cannot imagine what many people are dealing with. The courage of so many people who helped the wounded and the quick response to get the most seriously injured to the hospitals certainly saved lives. The heartbreak of the families of those who died in such a senseless attack makes me choke up and the multiple surgeries and recovery of the seriously injured who have painful recoveries in the months, probably years ahead.
A lot of people are asking “why”…why would someone do this. I did, but now I’m not. I don’t care why and when (not if), when they catch whoever did this I don’t want to hear a word from this sick creep. I don’t want to have a look inside that snake infested mind because that person does not deserve one second of additional fame.
Boston and it’s people will move on. No one will forget this tragic day or its victims but we will keep being who we are. Boston’s a tough town but a beautiful town. We might be crazy drivers and you might find our one way streets confusing, but if you get lost we’ll be happy to head you in the right direction…well maybe not if you’re a Yankees fan but everyone else. We love our sports – Bruins, Red Sox, Celtics, Patriots – and we love our events.
Even before Monday’s Marathon I sometimes feel paranoid in large crowds but then I think of how two years ago, over one million people came into the city to celebrate the Bruin’s Stanley Cup win. I was worried that day because Niki, a Bruin’s Ice Girl was in that parade. The streets were packed and the roar of the crowds deafening. She couldn’t hear when her Dad was calling to get her attention until the crowd around him started chanting until she finally spotted him.
And I think… if we can bring over one million people together in a wide open area, without a single incident then we can do it again. I’m thinking that this year’s 4th of July celebration will be a united show of commitment to keeping this city open to everyone to enjoy. And to those participating and watching this weekend’s London Marathon – Boston is with you. May you enjoy a peaceful day of accomplishment and pride.