It has been a tradition, for as long as I can remember, to watch the Boston Marathon along the route. As a child I remember standing expectedly in downtown Natick, with my hand outstretched, hoping a runner would give me a high five.
These days, our spot has moved down the route a few miles to Ashland, and my love for the event has only grown. The Boston Marathon brings out neighbors and friends we haven’t seen in months due to the cold New England weather. And while I no longer stand with my hand outstretched, I have come to appreciate all the individuals and stories that pass through our town.
Today, someone tried to steal all that is good about the Boston Marathon from us. I, and judging from my Facebook and Twitter feeds, and so many of my friends and connections are heartbroken about it. We are also angry, fearful, sad, nauseous, and stunned.
Looking at the photos I took, I’m having a hard time remembering what a beautiful morning we had. How the kids ran around with their friends. How I reminisced about waiting along the route as a child. How we reconnected with friends. How nice the spring sun felt on our shoulders. How inspired I was by the runners, soldiers and volunteer guides.
Before the explosions. Before I realized how many people we knew in the race. Before I received texts from friends asking me if we were okay. Before I heard one of the dead may be an eight year old child. Before my almost 8 year old daughter asked me if it was safe to go practice softball in the front yard because there might be an explosion there. Before I had to answer my son’s question “who did this?”
Before I was reminded how vulnerable we are.
Even as I write this, I feel incapable of doing the events of today justice. Words are failing me. I wish I had a happy, be strong way to wrap up this post. But it’s too soon. So I will end by sending my thoughts and prayers to anyone impacted today, especially to those who were injured or lost loved ones.
I am also sharing my favorite photos from today to remind myself that this morning was good. And next year’s marathon will be also.