17 Apr

I have been meaning to sit down and bang out this profound blog filled with my thoughts on the Boston Marathon Bombings…but I can’t find the words. My friend of a million years, Jill, told me that she had written something about it and wanted to share it. I feel like Jill is the perfect spokeswoman for this because the first Boston Marathon I ever spectated was with her when we were about 8 years old. Jill’s dad was running and we waited eagerly for him to pass us so we could hand off Hershey Kisses that we were saving for him in our coat pockets. I can’t help but think that at this time we were the same age as Martin Richard. Young and innocent eyes filled with excitement as we stared ahead, mesmerized by the thousands of runners flying freely by us…meandjillMe (right side) at my first Boston Marathon with my best friend Jill. Age 8.

#Boston, a guest blog by Jill

I went to bed Monday night after watching almost 8 full hours of TV coverage of the “Boston Bombings”. Switching from 5 to 7 to CNN to Fox News to see what had to be said about yesterday’s tragedy, almost like I was searching for the words to tell me how I should feel.  Truth is, there are no words.  Disgusted, horrified, heartbroken, deeply saddened… yeah they all seem to fit pretty well but still don’t encompass the way we feel; they don’t even begin to scratch the surface.

I took Patriots day off like many of the Boston area-20 something’s I know and headed into town with a few friends, one of which is a Boston Firefighter.  After making a pit stop at the firehouse (took a few pics in the ladder truck, of course) we ventured down Boylston to the Baseball tavern, made our way up to the roof deck and were beer-in-hand by 10:30 AM.  “This is going to be a good day” I thought to myself.  It was a tad brisk, a few wispy clouds in the sky but clear and perfect running weather.  From the roof deck you could see the Fenway scoreboard and the skyline of Boston.  I turned to my friends as we’re waiting in line to break the seal and said, “Guys… this IS the definition of hashtag BOSTON… this IS hashtag AMERICA”.  Honestly though, what could be more American than drinking a Bud heavy, on a roof deck, across the street from Fenway Park during a Sox game, a few blocks from where more than 26,000 runners, both elite and amateurs will cross the finish line of the running of the 117th Boston Marathon on PATRIOTS day in the heart of Boston, Massachusetts, USA?…not to mention tax day.  #Boston, #America.

The Boston Marathon is more than 26,000 runners, it’s 26,000 reasons why they run which extends far beyond the glory that comes with sticking that 26.2 on their bumpers.  One of my best friends, Erika raised $4,396 for Juvenile Diabetes Research which her grandfather, uncle and cousin all suffer from.  A friend’s boyfriend, Jeff raised $5,110 for Pine Street Inn where he volunteers regularly.  My co-worker, Lee, raised an unbelievable $29,710 for Dana Farber Cancer Institute.  Last Friday in the office he showed me pictures of him with his his son Noah and his patient partner Nate, a young boy with Cancer who had undergone chemo.  We will never let the selfless and charitable doings of these athletes be overshadowed by the evil we’ve witnessed.

You’ll remember where you were and you’ll hear where everyone else was and what they were doing when the Boston Marathon bombings occurred.  Kind of like the “I was in the kitchen, washing a dish, I heard it, so I ran out”, good old Dane Cook.  Well we were in the basement of the Baseball Tavern, My firefighter friend and his buddies heard the news and took off to the finish line.  I texted my mom and dad to let them know my sister and I were together and we were fine as texts from concerned friends and co-workers started coming in.  The scene around me was weird, to say the least.  They put the coverage on in the bar and some people started crying and consoling each other while some continued with the usual Marathon Monday antics, drinking and joking around.  But can you blame them? I mean what’s the standard operating procedure for when a terrorist attack happens a few blocks from where you are and there is absolutely nothing you can do to help?  Beats me…

My sister and I decided to leave the bar and bunker down in a friend’s apartment until our mom got out of work at the Brigham and could give us a ride back to Quincy.  We walked to Longwood Ave, the Mecca of medicine here in Boston.  We passed by Children’s and the Brigham where many of the victims had been taken.  Our eyes wide, trying to fathom that inside those concrete walls were innocent men, women and children hanging onto their lives, limbs and loved ones.  Words? Nope, there are none.

Now, I’m a sucker for sun sets… and couldn’t help but notice the breathtaking scene over 93 as I drove over the Neponset Bridge that night…brilliant reds, oranges and yellows filled the entire sky.  Seriously, breathtaking… no instagram filter could do this image justice.  How could something so beautiful appear after such a dreadful day?  No words.  The sun set on the city as it does every night and the moon and stars soon followed.  Not a cloud in the sky over Boston.  I woke up Tuesday with a heavy heart, along with the rest of the city, state, and probably country.  Took a shower, got a coffee and went to work like usual.  I decided to take my time this morning, drove 65mph instead of the usual 80.  I put my blinker on a lot sooner than usual and let drivers go ahead of me with a smile and a wave.

Truth is, no news outlet can give us the answers to the questions in our heads.  Nor can they say the words that will make any of this make sense… there are none.

Truth is, the part of our brain responsible for emotion can’t tell the part of brain responsible for communication the words to articulate the sadness, the confusion, the anger and the pain we’re all feeling.

Truth is, the sun is going to set and the sky will turn black and undoubtedly, there will be more unexplainable terrorist attacks on innocent people. But after night comes day and the sun will rise again and so will the city of Boston, stronger than ever.  Not sure about you but I gave Obama a standing-o in my kitchen after he spoke the words, “Boston is a tough and resilient town; so are its people.  I’m supremely confident that Bostonians will pull together, take care of each other and move forward as one proud city.  And as they do, the American people will be with them every single step of the way.”

Like I said, #Boston, #America.



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