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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Boston Strong

First things first: a great big THANK YOU to all who have emailed or messaged me because you haven't heard from me recently and were concerned because of all that has happened here in Boston in the past week.  I am so awed and amazed at how the power of the blogosphere has created so many friendships and a sense of camaraderie with people that I have never met.

We are fine.  We did not go to the marathon, and I'm thankful that all of my friends and family who were there--whether running or cheering--are fine. Physically fine.

Mentally, it's a heck of a lot to wrap your head around, to process, to understand, to accept.  How can anyone ever understand or accept such horror?  The victims of this crime, totally innocent, enjoying the beautiful day, happily waiting so they can enthusiastically cheer for and embrace their family members at the finish line.

I remember back to when I found out about the Newtown shooting at the Sandy Hill elementary school.  My daughters and I had spent the afternoon shopping, buying Christmas gifts, and then capped it all off with a trip to K-Mart to secretly pay off the layaway of an unsuspecting shopper.  We were sitting in our car, still in the K-Mart parking lot, waiting for the light to change so we could exit.  My girls were laughing, talking about what a big surprise someone was going to get when they went to pay for their layaway and they found out that we beat them to it.  The newscaster's voice came on the car radio and said, "Parents, if you have young children in the vicinity, you may want to turn your volume down because we have some disturbing news...." at which point one of my daughters said, "That means turn it UP!!"  Which was exactly what I was thinking, so I did turn it up ( at ages 17 and 21, I do not consider my girls young children).  Our joyful mood was instantly suffocated as we listened to the news report of the  Newtown shooting.    How could those sweet children and their loving parents have possibly known that their school was a dangerous place to be on that day?

Last Monday, could anyone have known that the finish line of the Boston Marathon was a dangerous place to be?  So often, you hear the phrase "they were in the wrong place at the wrong time."  How can attending school, or cheering at a sporting event, ever be wrong?  How can being at these places--at exactly the time you are supposed to be there--in broad daylight, be wrong?

I've mentioned my friend, Gayle, in previous posts.  Gayle is a nurse, and her sister (also a nurse) wrote this recounting of the first 24 hours after the marathon bombing (unedited by me):

     Let me tell you about the clear message my sister Gayle sent to the Terrorists. Monday when the bombs went off less than a mile from where she was working she stayed put to take care of her patients. When told by BPD that another bomb was found on Tremont street near the Hospital and that they were evacuating our Emergency room she helped to evacuate premature babies to safety not knowing or caring if she was in danger. She consoled and reassured frightened parents who are anxious enough having a baby in NICU let alone in the middle of all the terror of that day. And the next day....She went back in and did it again walking through security like you have never seen in your life. Armored tanks and Swat teams not letting what happened the day before stop her from going back to Boston and her job. I know because I was with her doing the same thing.. Not letting those animals keep us from doing what we do.

Anything can happen, at any time, any place.  Our only option is to not give in, support each other and carry on.