Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Boston Stronger

One year ago today, I found myself stopped at the corner of Charlesgate East and Commonwealth Avenue in Boston, Massachusetts. Barricaded by yellow tape forbidding me from continuing any farther. After running 25.5 miles, I was 0.7 miles away from crossing the finish line of the Boston Marathon. 

Instead of running down Boylston street, listening to the cheers of the crowd and seeing the glowing faces of my daughters sitting in the front row of the bleachers, I stood exhausted and confused, feeling very unfinished.

Thankfully, the family members and friends who came to support me that day weren't harmed. There are many others who can't say the same. I've gone over so many different scenarios of how the day could have played out. And then I just have to stop myself. Because it doesn't matter what could have happened. What matters most is what actually happened after those tragic events. 

Like I wrote about last year, something changed in Boston that day. Something bigger than the explosions. Something stronger than whatever was in those backpacks. Something so much brighter than the darkness of 2:49 pm.

The people of (and in) Boston pulled together that day - and together, they became stronger than whatever it was that was trying to ruin them. 

Instead of being overwhelmed with sadness or fear, I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the kindness of strangers who clothed me with a garbage bag and gave me water from their own apartments. 

Instead of feeling alone, I felt the love of literally hundreds of family members and friends texting and messaging their hope for my safety. A simple Facebook post that read, "Made it to 25.5. With Ryan now. Everyone we know is ok. I'll try to update as we hear more." received more likes and comments than I thought I had friends. And I appreciated every single one.

Instead of crying tears of sadness, I was cried tears of gratitude listening to the voicemail left by my weeping brother and reading the email from a dean at Tuck listing the families and classmates that were in Boston - to support Ryan and me - who were safe and accounted for.  

One year later, we are better. One year later, we are more aware. One year later, we are stronger.  

And one year later, we will finish what we started on April 15, 2013.  


Colleen said...

Dude. I'm out of words. Sorry that we missed you but know that we are there in spirit. Cheering you on to finish stronger. We are all stronger now than I ever could have imagined and girl we are done yet. I love you. Enjoy this friend.

Colleen said...

are *not* done yet (I need sleep)

carolee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
carolee said...

Wishing you a strong, speedy and safe run. You guys are awesome. We'll be cheering all the way from Utah.:)