This post isn't meant to be anything more than a collection of my thoughts on this day. I have a lot of them. This may be a bit (more) discombobulated compared to my usual posts.
Boston is my home. It's where I grew up. It holds a special place in my heart. Not just Marathon Monday, but every day of the year. I love the place. I love the sense of world centricity. I love the attitude. Dammit, I love the accent. Good Will Hinting is one of my favorite movies. I was at the clinching game of the '04 ALCS over the Yankees - breaking The Curse - and first game of the World Series against the Cardinals. I have a gold medal from the Head of the Charles and seven finishing medals from the Marathon. I LOVE THIS PLACE.
When I first head of the attack today, I was numbed...shocked...but it was like, hey...just another attack. That's what I've become to realize as the new normal. But then I saw pictures, videos, accounts of what happened on a street I've been down dozens of times...and as a new father, the news of an 8-year old boy being one of the deceased victims. I became upset, sick to my stomach, sad, angry. A whole list of emotions.
This was not just an attack on Boston, but one on runners, athletes, Massachusetts, in essence, my whole family. It made me want to be there to help, console, be with my family of runners and relatives.
Why? Marathon Monday in Boston is a special day in New England, a regional holiday (Patriots Day), the first day of spring break. A day when people get out and enjoy the start of spring and maybe take in a Sox game before heading out to Commonwealth Ave to watch the runners go by. A day of hope and new beginnings. A day when the dreams of thousands of athletes are realized on one of the most hallowed grounds of sporting history. A day when 8-year olds start to place dreams in their heads about what they want to do when they grow up. Not a day when they have their lives taken from them inexplicably.
What is it now? Who knows what it will become...maybe a day of remembrance. Maybe it will be the day in history when Boston became even more strong as a community than it ever was in it's nearly 400 years as a city. We, yes WE, are a strong people. We deal with tragedy and loss very well (hello, Red Sox). We, as a community of residents, former residents, runners and victims will rise from this occasion. Undoubtedly, some of the amputee victims of the attacks will be crossing the finish line on Boylston Street in the years ahead...there's no question in my mind. This day will change, this sport will change, this event will change...for the BETTER.
What is the take-away? Tragedies like this bring communities together, they give us strength. They do not deter, they do not instill fear. They give us pause and realize what we have, what we don't have...and how every moment we have is precious and shouldn't be taken for granted.
Yes, we will reflect and mourn for those who have been lost and injured. But that's what will motivate us all to become stronger, better people. In this day of tragedy, many of us will find new beginnings that will make us all as individuals and as a community even more resilient than we already are.