April 17, 2013

Love and Prayers for Boston

There is a holiday I had never heard about until we moved to Massachusetts - Patriot's Day.  I was surprised, our first year there, to discover what a big holiday it was.  Everyone gets the day off, schools close, it was amazing.  My employees used to complain that we didn't get the day off, and I would tell them that it was because our company was based in Maryland.  "Why would that matter?" they would ask.  "Because no one outside of Massachusetts celebrates Patriot's Day," I would respond.  They were just as shocked by that as I was about a holiday of which I had never heard. 

One of the big "celebrations" that happens in conjunction with this holiday is Marathon Monday - the day of the Boston Marathon.  I have many happy marathon memories:
- Participating in the "mini-marathon" (1 mi.), at the retirement community where I worked, by pushing a resident in a wheelchair.  We won.
- Meeting friends, who were in town to run the marathon, post-race for dinner and a fun evening celebrating their accomplishment and catching up.
- Watching the marathon on tv with my newborns...who were due to be born that day even though they were already 6 weeks old and 3 weeks home.  It was like a second birthday.

So I was excited, this year, when my children were as into the race as I.
Watching the pre-race coverage.  I couldn't drag them away.  I love how much my kids love running!
After much anticipation, it finally started.  They LOVED watching the wheelchair start (they hadn't been expecting anyone on wheels.  Ryan is pretty determined that he wants to be a wheelchair racer someday...I haven't had the heart to tell me that he - hopefully - won't be eligible).  They were excited about the women's start.  Then they decided to run their own marathon, so the lined up with the men and took off when they started.
They're off!  
Note: Allie isn't wearing pants because she wanted to look more like the other girl runners.
We had such a fun morning.  The marathon was on all morning.  Sometimes the twins raced.  Sometimes (because they weren't feeling super well and got tired) they would bring some toys out and play while they watched.  We got out a map and talked about where they would have to run to in order to run the same distance as the runners (even farther than the Toy Store - which was shocking to them).
"I'm winning!"
We even had a picnic lunch in front of the tv since lunch was the perfect time to watch the finish of the Elite runners.  Each time, they would pick one of the front runners to be themselves, and then would cheer, "Go, Ryan!  Go, Allie!" respectively.   We cheered and laughed and had so much fun.
"No, I'm winning!"
Then the coverage ended on the only station we could find covering the marathon.  So we sighed, turned off the tv, and Lucas and I talked about how much fun everyone there was having.  We were a little homesick.  We knew what a big day it was and how the whole city would be celebrating.  We wished we were there.  Instead, Lucas (who was working from home because I was sick) picked up a book and I took a nap.
We love running!
I was in the process of waking up - those lovely, warm and cozy first, foggy moments when your eyes could open (and might open for a second or two before closing again), and you are sort of aware of your surroundings, but you are still enjoying your final moments of sleep - when Lucas yelled, "Kim, there were 2 explosions in Boston!"  In my half-asleep state, I assumed something like a house explosion, and was thinking that was so sad for the families involved.  Lucas turned on the tv, and I couldn't believe what I was seeing.  You've seen the footage.  You know the story.  The wonderful celebration that is Marathon Monday encountered a very tragic turn.

We did have friends at the race.  Thankfully, none of them were at that spot.  We did have a few who were one their way there, who would have been right there when the blast went off had something not deterred them.  For one it was a feeling that she should turn around and not go to the spot she had gone every year to watch the finish.  For another it was a large crowd in the way - at the time frustrating in the delay.  It was a relief to get one facebook and see them check in, one-by-one, that they were okay.  At the same time, my heart aches for the family and friends for whom that was not so.

They have been very much on my mind - the friends who live so close that they are encountering (in their daily life) the realities of this tragedy, the friends and family of the injured and deceased who are working through an unimaginable grief, the doctors and nurses who saw the aftermath first hand and are dealing with their own emotional fallout while caring for those in pain, for the officials working tirelessly to put the pieces together and bring about justice, for the workers who will clean up the broken pieces and make everything look fresh and new, for the city of my heart - the only city this small-town girl has ever loved.  And while part of me says I should be relieved I wasn't there, another part of me wishes I was there - working in a tangible way to help.  Since I'm not, I will pray.
This is a picture taken (and edited) by a former co-worker and friend while on a hike.
(photo credit Hiking Hearts)


Anonymous said...

I also love Boston....the excitement of going to a big historic city, and knowing my first grandchildren were born there just somehow makes me love it. My son had his first pastor job there and the super cool home that Kim made so welcoming. I remember walking around there neighborhood and especially walking thru the local cemetery talking with Papa Ryan. So many cool memories. I remember the last time I was there and it was such a pretty morning and as we were leaving our loved ones I turned around and looked at the city knowing it would be the last time for a long time I would see it. Felt very homesick. AND I will never forget the 4th of July there and the fireworks. Beyond wonderful! I only pray that my little grand kids could someday be able to play outside like I did and not worry about any of the horrible things that are happening today. Our children are being robbed of there youth and innocence. Prayers to all of the people in Boston who lost loved ones and were hurt. And I'm sure if Poppy were writing here he would mention "The BIG Green Wall". Hugs from Nana

Anonymous said...

Hi Kim, My heart, too, goes out to every single person hurt by that awful experience and those that the hurt will go on and on.
Grandpa is excited about you and the twins being at his 'marathon' Bike and Hike. Going around the block at the park will seem like a marathon to the twins! Love and prayers, Grandma