The last few days have been heartbreaking and heartwarming all at the same time. Marathon Monday has been a part of every Spring for me, cheering from Heartbreak Hill when I was at BC, to more recently standing with the thousands of supporters just a block from my apartment at mile 24. The positive energy is contagious, uplifting, inspiring…it’s the best day in Boston. It was even better last year when my brother ran his first marathon and rocked it despite the July-like temperature. He would have run it this year too, had it not been for a foot injury that forced him to drop out.
When I was watching the marathon earlier this week, in total awe of the athletes running past, I had one of those fleeting moments where you realize how lucky you are just to be alive. It wasn’t even really a conscious thought until several hours later, when the cheering that each year drifts through my apartment windows suddenly turned to a constant stream of ambulance and police sirens. Aaron called me moments later to tell me two bombs had gone off at the finish line. He was driving to a client meeting outside the city, and I was so thankful he wasn’t at his office in Copley Square.
I used to work on that block of Boylston St., with my first job on the Marathon Sports side, and my next in the Prudential Tower. For four years, I spent every morning, lunch break, and evening walking through that section of Back Bay. It’s one of my favorite parts of the city, and the tragedy that took place on that very familiar stretch of sidewalk on Monday is still so surreal to me. There are no words.
I will, however, say this: I have never been more proud to call Boston home. Having moved across the country and back again, I already felt a sense of gratitude for this city, and that feeling has magnified as I’ve watched people’s responses to Monday’s events. Boston police, medical teams, soldiers, and spectators who immediately ran towards the blasts to help, neighbors opening their homes to those displaced…that is what defines Boston.