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.