Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Day of Heartache - A Day of Remembrance - A Day of Inspiration

One year ago I stood watching the live coverage of the 117th Boston Marathon on WBZ. I was deeply moved when I saw the mobility impaired start remembering our 2009 Boston Marathon run. It was the first year I felt well enough and was ready to go back to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel to celebrate our 2009 Boston Marathon run and be reunited with our Race for Rehab teammates and regale the runners on the 2013 Race for Rehab team as we were once regaled after our run.

We had no idea the day would turn out as it did and this morning I sat watching WBZ again to commemorate the tragic events of 4/15/13. After marking the anniversaries with "months" it seems a little surreal to mark the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings.

I've said over and over again throughout these past 12 months how blessed we were to have walked away from the blast. A newscaster talked about all the seemingly random choices that were made that day as the camera panned up and down Boylston Street.

Tom and I were in the Mandarin waiting for runners to come into the suite. We were debating back and forth about whether or not we should go out on Boylston Street in front of the hotel which is across the street from the Forum where the second bomb exploded to cheer on our friend Jerel. We said that we'd wait until we got the text he hit the 40K mark. We were getting worried because it seemed like he had really dropped off his pace. We found out after Marathon Monday that in fact he had fallen off of his pace but he had hit the 40K mark. We never got the text. As we were debating what to do, we heard an odd sound for Marathon Monday off in the distance. Before we had time to process it, we felt the second explosion and saw the smoke. Our friend and Race for Rehab teammate from 2009 went to the window and came back to tell us, "It's a tragedy. People are down."

I wept I watched the laying of the wreath in front of the Forum this morning with the families of the 3 people who died in the blast.

And then I went out for a 3.2 mile run - in the rain - in the wind.

I thought about the families of those who died. I thought about all those who were injured. I prayed for healing. I reflected on the resiliency of the human Spirit and stories of inspiration that were featured on the news throughout these past 365 days. I basked in the warmth of Facebook messages and emails for me and the City of Boston. And I thought about all of my friends who will be running where I was running today along Beacon Street. I thought about my own resilient Spirit and how I overcame moved through paralytic polio, childhood trauma, my dad's suicide and in 2011 the suicide of my nephew ... and then moving through this past year in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings.

As Boston Police Commissioner Evans said, "Today we remember, tomorrow we move on and Monday we race."

I am proud to call Boston my home. Today I experience heartache mixed with hope as I hold all in my heart with love.

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