The One Where I Didn’t Know What to Write

I didn’t want to write something last week on the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings.

I didn’t want to, but I felt like I should.

Because it’s my city – I could live in Washington for the rest of my life, and Boston will always be my city — and those are my people, my friends, my family. How could I keep silent during such a difficult anniversary? Was I less of a Bostonian, less of a caring person, if I didn’t say something?

I thought that, and then I read some of the articles, and I watched some of the TV spots about the anniversary.

And then I had to stop reading, and I had to stop watching, and I put the figuring out of what to write on hold.

Because I just couldn’t. Because it was too much. Because I still start to cry when I think of that day a year ago, and I wasn’t even there. Because it’s my city, and my people – but it wasn’t my story.

At least, my story wasn’t one that matters. Yes, I have very good friends who were right there. As in, there-but-for-the-grace-of-God right there. And yes, my brother used to live, and once again does live, in Watertown, the scene of all the insanity that Friday of that week – but he didn’t then, and that wasn’t his boat. It wasn’t my boat. I wasn’t running that day, and I’m not running tomorrow.

So, I didn’t know what to write — so I just didn’t.

But tomorrow’s Patriots Day. It’s Marathon Monday. It’s the day every year when I miss being at home, miss getting Monday off — and when I sneak glances in between work projects at the Sox gamecast from 11 a.m. on.

It marks the start of a new year. I like that idea. Not that it won’t continue to be important to tell the stories of the people who were so terribly affected last year — not that life just goes back to “normal” — but I like the idea that tomorrow’s still a holiday. It’s still Marathon Monday. It’s still an insanely early baseball game.

Tradition matters. I love that tomorrow, tradition will reign — and new memories will be made. It won’t be just about looking back, but about also looking ahead, with all the smiles (and sometimes the tears) that those days will bring.

And I love — LOVE — that so many of the runners who didn’t get to cross that finish line last year will be back tomorrow to honor the Boston tradition. I’ll be following bib #27392, and I’m betting there will be some tears — happy, this time — when he finishes what he started last year.

Boston, you're my home.

Boston, you’re my home.

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34 thoughts on “The One Where I Didn’t Know What to Write

  1. I’m not even from Boston, but I remember standing in the lobby at work when news of the bombing flashed across the screen. I had just been on my way to a meeting, but I stood there, too shocked to move. You may not have been there, but you are from there. And what you did end up writing is a lovely tribute.

  2. I’m not from Boston either but I remember seeing the horror unfold and continue to keep everybody affected in my thoughts and prayers. I think you did a wonderful job of writing a tribute to both remember and to feel pride and hope for the future.

  3. Well done. It was a glorious day here in your city. Boston.com’s Steve Safran wrote a little ditty for me that will make you proud to be a Bostonian all over again. I don’t think this town ever leaves your bones.

  4. Even if you weren’t there, it is definitely your story. It’s all of our story. It’s a beautiful story of how a tragedy brought a whole city, state, and nation together. How people will help each other even in the scariest of times. About how people from all different walks of life stand together in support of each other. I think it’s a terrible incident that we turned into a wonderful story of hope, support, and perseverance.

  5. I love the fact you love your City. It show you respect the people, culture and environment of Boston. I’ve never been to Boston, but if people love the place as you do, maybe it would be worth a visit. Nice sentiments in your blog.

  6. Reblogged this on CyberAdal أدال الفضائية and commented:
    I think you express yourself and reflect on your passionate love to your city. For me just to share with you something touched me the most, that a person from original country Eritrea did join the moment of resilience & pride, too. As Meb the American from Eritrea participated and even score the first in the Men marathon after 31 years, when they asked about his feeling, he answered ” it’s not about me, but strong Boston” I think the world was with all of the Bostonian like your good-self.
    Ibrahim Idris

  7. Thanks for posting. I am from Boston and my company doesn’t give us the day off so I was at my office a year ago. Interesting enough, one of my colleagues who happened to be listening to the NPR affiliate from Pittsburgh (where she’s from) heard the news first. We all stood in someone’s office and searched the internet to find a station with breaking news. It was unreal. Then I heard my phone ringing in my office and I ran to answer it and it was my son calling me from the Middle East. Wait a second…something is wrong with this picture. He’s the one I’m supposed to be worrying about …living in a dangerous place….but no….he was calling to me to see if I was okay! Anyway… yes, Boston is a great city.

  8. You love your city don’t you. So do I inspite of all the shortcomings it may have. I am talking about “Bangalore”. Even this city boasts of quite a few races. Midnight Marathon (Supposedly the first of its kind in the world). The most famous being the World 10k run. The most popular 10k run in India and perhaps Asia. This year, it is on the 18th of May and I will be taking part in it for the 8th year.

  9. Sometimes the pain is so much to bear that one can not put it into words. But in the soul there is a slate where one writes their thoughts and later it comes out.

  10. As a Midwesterner, transplanted to Florida, who has been to Boston exactly twice in my life on brief business trips, I can say that I love the way you represented your city in this blog post. I have a number of friends from Boston and they all share the same love for the city, wherever they may live today. Thanks for posting.

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