I wrote this on April 16th:
I grew up going to the Boston Marathon. I have never been to the finish line, but I spent nearly every Patriot’s Day from years 1990-2009 at the starting line in Hopkinton. My grandparents’ house is just off the marathon route.
Every year both sides of my family would get together and go down to the Hopkinton common and buy cheap-o souvenirs, stop at all of the sidewalk sales, collect free hats/tshirts/bags, and listen to the garage bands all up and down the street. I sold lemonade outside my grandparents house, laughed at of all the runners “relieving” themselves one last time in people’s yards before they set out for their run, held my hand out for high fives as the runners started the race, grabbed trash bags of left behind clothes from the runners left around the common, and ate pancakes the morning of at the middle school with the marathon volunteers. I remember waiting for my dad at my grandparent’s house because he was running from our house in Upton all the way to their house in Hopkinton. I remember sleeping in a recliner chair the night before the 100th anniversary while my cousins slept in a tent in the front yard because they were closing the roads at some ungodly hour in the morning. I remember my cousin waking up the morning of the marathon and deciding to run it on whim when she was like 16 years old. I remember my friends doing the same thing a few years later when they were 21. I remember my uncle running a couple years ago and tracking his progress online and watching him cross the finish line even though I was 3 hours away from Boston.
Needless to say, I have A LOT of memories of the Boston Marathon. As I got older, it became harder to make time for. I was too busy being an adult and going to work, or I lived too far away, or I had the “been there, done that” attitude. This past weekend, I was actually a little sad that I hadn’t been in a few years and I was hoping to change that next year.
I don’t know how possible that is going to be.
Granted, the events that happened this past Monday occurred in Boston. Hopkinton remains unscathed. However, I think we all know that the Marathon is just going to be different from here on out. Just like going to the airport is different post 9/11.
What happened on Monday was scary. It was REALLY scary. I am so thankful that I did not know anyone that was there or near the explosions, but my heart goes out to the people that did. The outpouring of grief and sympathy is overwhelming just to read, let alone feel. Life as we all know it is going to change, just as it did the second the towers fell in 2001.
I love what people have been saying about Boston and I love how the entire country has been reacting to what happened. I love that the Yankees, the most hated team in the world as far as Bostonians are concerned, played “Sweet Caroline” yesterday. I love that Chicago is recognizing themselves as Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics, and Bruins. As divided as this country may seem day to day, its comforting to know that it can pull together in times like these. I love hearing people say phrases like “Boston Strong” “Believe in Boston” “Boston, Your OUR Home”. I love that strangers helped strangers to safety and saved each other’s lives. It really makes me believe that the good will outweigh the bad in the end.