I'm still processing all that happened here in Boston over the past week, from the tragic bombings that killed three and wounded nearly 200 300 at one of the country's most historic and beloved sporting events, to the shoot-out in my old Watertown neighborhood that began with the murder of a young police officer and led to the death of one bombing suspect, to the subsequent lock-down of our community as the second suspect was eventually, thankfully apprehended. I'm still in a daze of anguish, confusion, and relief.
I attempted to write something about this several times last week, but none of it came out right. A long moment of silence seemed more appropriate. Now, as I sift through all of the facts and personal feelings that come out of a tragedy so close to home, I'm left with more questions than answers. I've been a fanatical spectator of the Boston Marathon for as long as I can remember, cheering myself hoarse almost every year (this year, we decided to take an extra day to visit family instead). For me, Marathon Monday is a day to celebrate our independent spirit and for people from all over the world to come together and reward each other's personal perseverance. It's an event where the spectators are every bit as important as the runners themselves. In fact, I would argue that the Boston Marathon is less about actually fulfilling a dream as it is about the dream itself. Maybe your dream has nothing to do with running 26.2 miles, but you can bet that after the full-on love fest that is your average Boston Marathon, you'll be inspired to challenge yourself in your own way.
What I want to know is this: Of all the goals to aspire to when education and opportunity are on your side, what kind of twisted, tortured mind only strives to maim and kill innocent men, women, and children?
I'm so proud of the way law enforcement and our community spontaneously— and rather improvisationally—came together for the common good, but my heart still feels such loss. Like most people I know, I'm torn between the need to grieve and empathize and the need to carry on with my daily life. Maybe there's a way to do both? Every single year after the Boston Marathon, I start running again. It doesn't matter how ineptly I go about that task or for how long. I do it not because I want to run the Boston Marathon; I'm content to watch the race from the sidelines. I run for two reasons: because it makes me stronger, and because I believe in dreams. This year, I'll add a third reason. I'll run for those who are recovering from their greatest challenge, yet. I know others will be running for them, too—probably every single person hoofing along the Charles and huffing through neighborhoods across the nation, in fact.
I hope the injured will still keep the dreams they're so entitled to, even if it takes a little longer or a different path to achieve them. It's pretty clear that everyone in this whole fucking city will be cheering them on every step of the way.
To donate to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings and aftermath, please visit OneFundBoston.org.