She Says… Boston Marathon Tragedy

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Yesterday, these pictures made me so happy.

Today, I can’t look at them without tears.

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For anyone who has not heard, two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon yesterday while thousands of runners were still on the course, and thousands more were in the near vicinity cheering them on. So far I think there have been 3 confirmed deaths and over 100 reported injuries, many of them very, very serious.

Thank you to all who reached out to our family to see if we were ok yesterday amidst the chaos. I am so thankful to be able to say that we were safe away from the bombs and Owen was at home taking a nap when the blasts actually occurred. So thankful. Still, knowing that there were so many “If we hadn’t done X, we would have done Y”s that would have put us RIGHT THERE, RIGHT THEN, is harrowing. It’s totally surreal to see the video of the exact place where we watched a dear friend finish the marathon a few short years ago (and less than a block from my office) thick with smoke and covered in debris and bodies. And, of course, not everyone was as lucky as we were.

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Marathon Monday is a holiday here in Massachusetts. It’s the unofficial start to spring. It’s the day when you walk down the street and everyone is a friend and neighbor. It’s the day when, no matter who you vote for or to whom you pray, you come out and clap and cheer and ring your cowbell for the amazing people participating in this historic event. If you are anything like me, tears stream down your face when you see those first wheelchairs whizzing past you. You are struck by the strength and power of the human body and spirit. Even if you are not running, no matter where on the route you watch, it feels like you are a part of a tradition so vast that you can’t help but be thankful to be a small part of it.

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It is the innocence of carrying a red balloon around and reveling in the beauty of the season, the event, and love and pride for where you live.

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Yesterday’s bombing shattered that innocence. At least for me. Owen has no idea what happened (and I will do my best to keep it that way), but it changed things for him, too.

The world that he is growing up in is so different from the one that I grew up in.

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Social media has a strange effect on tragedy. On one hand, a friend commented on my Facebook page and told me to get Owen inside because of the bombs long before I ever turned on the tv to hear the awful news. If we HAD been downtown, that comment literally could have saved our lives. Or helped us get out of the city before all transportation was shut down. Or at least helped us answer questions of what just happened. On the other hand, constant information from Facebook and Twitter and news feeds so often means MISinformation. The many inaccurate things reported in the heat of the moments yesterday are both confusing and damaging to those seeking the truth. Horrible images circulated without permission that many of us can not get out of our heads. The way that tragedy unfolds with constant information updates (both true and untrue) is complicated and scary.

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My heart is breaking for those who were downtown and were affected by the bombs. And also for those of us who feel violated by the way a tragedy like this, so close to home, changes everything about how we feel when we walk out our door.

Hug your loved ones extra close today and every day.

 

 

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8 responses to “She Says… Boston Marathon Tragedy

  1. I’m from Oklahoma City so we obviously have had a similar experience in our own community. It is heartbreaking to have someone destroy your innocence. I was in 7th grade and remember feeling the bomb when it went off. Those things never leave you. I’m so glad you and Owen are okay, I thought about you all day yesterday. Beautiful post.

  2. Beautifully written Kate–as usual. I know what you mean about social media. If it hadn’t been for Facebook I wouldn’t have known–as it was I didn’t know until hours and hours later. And am somewhat glad for that as I slept peacefully last night, and wouldn’t have otherwise. Very glad you are all safe. My heart aches for Boston and it is very hard to be so far away today. Everyone is talking about it here and one woman told me that she feels very emotional about it, even though she’s never even been to the Sates. This kind of tragedy affects us all and I, too, will shelter my children from this kind of news for as long as I can. They don’t yet need to know about the horrors that can occur in the world they are growing up in. Lots of love to you all and all Bostonians today.

  3. This made everyone speechless. Everyone’s praying. This event removes all the differences and open the floodgates of happiness for everyone. You are right about it. But, these selfless acts don’t care.

    And, it’s true. Love you loved ones as much as you can. Today is the fact, tomorrow is the dream…

    You explained all of our feelings in the most beautiful words. I can’t say better than this.

  4. So beautifully said, thank you for sharing. So, so glad you all are safe and sound. I didn’t think about how may friends I have in Boston until this happened and I’m relieved all of them are ok.

  5. So happy you guys are OK, but you are right…things could have turned out very differently. Our children are growing up in a MUCH different world than we did, and we are not even that old! I am from 15 minutes outside of NYC, and currently live near the flight pattern of the planes that fly out of Philly. Not a day goes by (when I hear a low flying plane) that I’m not reminded of 9/11. These tragedies have a way of changing us forever.

  6. You, Benjamin & Owen were the first people I thought of when I heard the news of the bombs– I knew you were watching the race and hoped with every ounce of my being that you were far away from the finish line– thank god you guys are ok.

    Your pictures are an amazing tribute to your place on this terrible day– the light in your eyes and the sweet smile on O’s face are exactly what Patriot’s Day has always been like, and what it will continue to be, despite this tragedy. I hope that these are the images that I remember. Not the others.

    Love you, friend. xoxo.

  7. I was in North Carolina on Monday and everyone kept asking me if I knew anybody who was in town. I don’t think people who haven’t been here for the marathon could grasp that Yes. EVERYONE knows someone who was there. Every single person in Boston could have been at that very spot. At one time or another we all have been. We all walk that street regularly and know those sidewalks that were so horrifically displayed. We are a city, yes, but we are so tightly knit that there is not a person around that is not personally affected. It seems so surreal that something like this could happen in my home. It taking place on my own sidewalk could not have made it more personal.

  8. Pingback: Marathon | Ginnycyt

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