For the Love of BostonHeather Neal
While I was at the children’s museum chasing around a toddler Monday morning, others were up north chasing a dream. Unfortunately not a single one of them will remember this event in the way they had imagined.
Marathon Monday will forever be changed. For those not immersed in the running world, Marathon Monday is the day of the Boston Marathon. An elite, exclusive, and monumental 26.2 mile run through the streets of Boston, MA. It’s not just a run. It’s a local holiday. The entire town stops and convenes on the sidelines. Runners travel from far and wide to run this marathon. While some are naturally gifted with speed, others spend years striving for the ultimate “BQ”: to qualify for Boston with a fast enough marathon time. Even if runners aren’t actively trying to qualify for this high bar race, most know their age group’s qualifying time. (Mine’s 3:40.)
Normally on Marathon Monday you’d find me glued to the computer screen, watching the live-stream feed of the amazing runners working their way through the town of Boston. This morning however, I was distracted with other things, namely a wild and crazy toddler. It wasn’t until my husband poked his head in my son’s nursery as I was putting him to bed and told me the news. There is absolutely nothing that can be said that adequately captures the horror, tragedy, and pain that surrounds such a terrible act. There is no one part of this story that is worse than another, but to think this happened at the finish line of this historic event, where friends, family, and volunteers were cheering on and supporting loved ones and strangers alike is just devastating. To think that thousands of people didn’t get to finish the journey they started, and others may forever fear signing up for the event in the future.
It’s always hard to walk away from my son at night as he lay sweetly in his crib, one of the few moments of the day he slows down just a little bit, but Monday was especially difficult. No matter how much parents sacrifice and strive to give their children the best possible life, it’s horrifying and tragic to realize there will still be things we can’t protect them from. To understand that they will grow up in a world where they have to fear far more than disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and tornados. A world where school shootings’ is a plural event; a world where the news channels are covering a tragedy in Massachusetts on the same day as the anniversary of a tragedy in Virginia; a world where gun laws, no matter what they are, won’t be enough.
As saddening and frightening as this awful event is, I’m yet again overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and heroic efforts of so many people in the face of an awful time. Here’s hoping that the light of these good deeds can outshine the darkness of whoever was behind this violent act of destruction.