I had been awake since 3 a.m. and was exhausted. I told Jessie to not let me sleep any longer than two hours this afternoon for fear that I would foul up yet another night’s slumber. As I lay on the couch crashed out, I vaguely heard the phone ringing. Then the doorbell. Soon the familiar, yet somehow frantic, sound of text messages invading my phone knocked me out of my desperately needed nap.
Blissfully unaware of the insanity that was unfolding a mere five miles from my house, I quickly realized that something was going on and it was not anything good. I reached for my cell phone to find text after text making sure that I was okay and that the kids were home. Still not knowing what had happened, I booted up my sleeping computer and went to www.boston.com. Another day we will never forget.
For those who don’t know, The Boston Marathon is in the blood of anyone who has ever called Boston home. Stretching the 26+ miles from Hopkinton into Boston, it is a thrilling event to watch. It is impossible to be among the throngs of people watching the runners and not be covered in goosebumps and filled with awe. The runners are our friends, our neighbors and our family. They have trained incessantly for this day and are so wildly supported by the cheering fans all along the route that finishing is just what they do. (No, I have never run a marathon, but both of my brothers and two of my sisters in law have. I leave the running to others.)
Today, much like September 11th, was picture perfect. The temperature was ideal for both the runners and the spectators. There was not a cloud in the sky. Set against the iconic background of Back Bay, the runners were nearing the finish line: checking their times, relishing their accomplishment and suddenly jarred by an explosion. The world has changed, yet again.
Soon after word spread in my neighborhood, four of my girlfriends came to my house. We hugged. We opened (and killed) a bottle of wine. We watched, as much as we were able, the live news feed. And we reminded one another, without saying a word, that we would get through this together.
Life is precious and increasingly unpredictable and frightening. Think long and hard about what matters. And pray for the families who will forever remember the 2013 Boston Marathon for all the wrong reasons.