One Year Later – The Boston Marathon

It was like every other Marathon Monday.  Living in Boston, it’s a BIG day.  If you don’t have it off from work, you take it off months in advance. You have friends who might be running, the Red Sox are playing at Fenway, the streets are lined with people, the bars and restaurants open their patios, it’s Spring time, it’s warm, it’s one of the best days to live in Boston.

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My girlfriends and I started the day just as we had for the past few years.  We woke up early, put our favorite Sox shirts on, drank some mimosas, and headed to the T to ride to Fenway.  This year we stopped at Cask n’ Flagon, a Fenway landmark, for some lunch and drinks.  We people watched, planned out the rest of our day, and basked in the sun knowing such an iconic event was going on and we were there for it.

We even ended up scoring tickets into the game this year.  And not just any tickets, Green Monster tickets!  It was bittersweet for me.  I was moving back to Connecticut in less than a month and knew this would be my last Marathon Monday as a Boston resident.  I took it all in, and felt so grateful to have lived in such an awesome, exciting, and proud city.

After the game (or maybe a few innings before the end, don’t judge) we headed out on to Landsdowne Street.  Before heading down to Comm Ave to watch the runners, we stopped at another bar.  We squeezed our way in to the shoulder to shoulder bar, we ordered a drink, and we even danced.  That’s the thing about Marathon Monday.  You have people running 26.2 miles accomplishing a lifetime goal, you have families singing Sweet Caroline on the bleachers in Fenway, and you have girls in their twenties on the dance floor at Landsdowne enjoying being in their twenties living in one of the best cities in the world.

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I bumped into an old friend who I hadn’t seen in a while.  She had a terrified look at her face and all she could say was “Did you hear what happened?”  Something about a “car bomb.”  Slowly, and then quickly, people started emptying out of the bar.  Everyone was looking at their phones, trying to get service, asking each other “what happened?”

In the mass confusion, my friends and I did what we thought was best and started walking.  Walking away.  Just like hundreds, thousands of other people were doing.  We walked the four miles back to our apartments, down the marathon route.  We saw runners stopped in their tracks, with no phones, a dream diminished, even more confused than we were.  We walked and walked to finally get home and live out an extremely eery and frightening week that none of us will forget, ever.

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One year later.  A lot has changed.  That’s the thing about life, it’s constantly changing.  My life looks so different than it did on April 15, 2013.  I’ve moved states, got a new job, have grown, have moved on.  I’m sure every person that had any connection to what happened that day, whether they were a few blocks from the finish line, or knew people who ran it, have moved on.

And yet sitting here thinking back to the awful tragedy that took place that day, I couldn’t help but think of the families who faced loss on that day.  Thinking how can they move on?  I can’t even imagine what that would be like to have to live life with such a huge piece of it missing.

Life can change in an instant.

So what does that teach us?  How can knowing that, dictate the way we live?  We all know the cliche “live every day like it’s your last.”  Does that mean we have to be traveling the world or jumping out of planes to make that a reality?  I don’t think so (anymore).

Life can change in an instant.

So love.  Open your heart and love with every thing you have.  Bring love into every thought, every word, every action.

Smile.  Smile at the good in this world.  Smile at the stranger on the street or in line next to you.

Spread happiness, spread joy, spread love.  The world needs more of it.  And maybe that can cause a ripple this big ocean of life we all live in.  And maybe it’s just a ripple, but more and more ripples can cause a pretty big wave.

What I witnessed that next week after the marathon was pretty remarkable.  People were kinder, gentler, moved slower and with more intention.  A city of strong, resilient people came together and showed compassion towards one another.

I will go to Boston this weekend, and reunite with a city that I have so much love for.  I will run those beautiful, familiar streets (just the 5k, not the marathon!) and spread that love because…

Life can change in an instant.

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10 Comments

  1. Aurora says:

    Definitely your most beautiful post (me thinks).
    Yes — ‘Spread happiness, spread joy, spread love. The world needs more of it. And maybe that can cause a ripple this big ocean of life we all live in. And maybe it’s just a ripple, but more and more ripples can cause a pretty big wave.’

    yes and yes.

  2. Pingback: Sauteed Ginger and Garlic Salmon | The Primal Yogi

  3. Jessica Lawlor says:

    Beautiful, beautiful post! Thank you so much for sharing your story. Hope the 5K went well and that you had a wonderful weekend in Boston! It’s definitely a city on my must-visit list! xox

  4. Pingback: The Best Weekend in Boston | The Primal Yogi

  5. Fantastic post. It brought me right back to the days after. I still remember the uncertainty and fear that day as I rushed to work in the ER, waiting for the worst. Fortunately though, I remember the Boston Strong movement more and I still have a visceral response when I think about how proud I was to be living in such an amazing and resilient city. Thank you for reminding me of that silver lining!

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