Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Boston Strong

Boston You’re My Home

UPDATE: We've been on lockdown at our home, listening to the helicopters, sirens, and WBZ since late last night. Yet another innocent death, yet another innocent victim in critical care. One suspect is dead, another still creating fear. Through this all, Boston refuses to break stride. To quote our president, "We will finish the race."

I moved to Massachusetts 11 years ago, following my husband, a native New Englandah, and pulling behind me twin toddlers. For the first six years, we lived in one idyllic seaside town after another before finally settling down in my husband’s dream town of Brookline, Massachusetts, a very close-in suburb that hugs and kisses the line of Boston.
There’s no rocky coastline in Brookline, or ocean breezes, or seaside artist colony, or boardwalk arcades. But what Brookline DOES have is … wait for it … Fenway Park.
My husband’s main (only) criteria in choosing a house in Brookline was that its front door be situated less than two miles walking distance to Gate A of America’s most beloved ballpark. We found a cute little Tudor exactly 1.67 miles by foot to the Green Monster and signed an offer that night … before the house even officially went on the market.
My husband’s favorite day is Patriot’s Day. It’s a sacred and unifying holiday in Massachusetts, and nowhere is it more revered and celebrated than in Boston. The Boston Marathon always takes place on Patriots Day, and the Red Sox famously play an 11 am game that morning. This year's Marathon Monday was the fifth Patriots Day spent in our house that sits just up the hill from Beacon Street at Coolidge Corner … or as it is known on Marathon day, Mile 24.
We have a Patriots Day Plan, a tradition. We leave the house at 10 am and head down the hill to watch the first wheelchair racers speed by. Then we walk up to Fenway Park and get settled in our seats just in time to watch the thundering fly-over and other pre-game festivities. We usually leave the game during the seventh inning stretch singing Sweet Caroline as we make our way to the marathon finish line to cheer on the finishers. Then we leisurely head home, rooting on the runners along the way, bumping into friends and neighbors, and relishing in the intense energy that sizzles along Beacon Street.
And so it was two days ago when we once again embarked on one of our favorite holiday traditions. The only deviation from the plan occurred when I wanted to leave the game early so I could stop by Trader Joes on our walk home. For that reason, we had already left the finish line by the time the two blasts ripped through Copley Square, Boston, New England, the Nation, and our hearts.
My husband, still carrying the plastic bag with his new 60%-off running jacket, was well away from the Marathon Sports store where he and my son had earlier purchased it … and where the first bomb exploded, shattering the storefront window and the lives of those in its vicinity.
My husband and I still feel the tremors.
It was a low and cowardly blow to Boston, especially on this holiday when the entire city celebrates as one family.
For my family, it was a too-close call, a reason to lose sleep, and yet another opportunity to thank God for our incredible blessings.
My thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by Monday’s horrific events. I wish you peace and strength. Boston strength.