Monday, 21 April 2014

marathon monday!

'ordinary beauty'... the boston globe

so thankful that so many got to run today with joy.  
that so many got to cheer with joy.

so thankful that this day of such celebration in the city of boston 
was once more 
a day 
of joy.

happy patriots' day!


Friday, 18 April 2014

last year, on this day...

I had not slept much.
a manhunt had started in my city, and I was glued to the television anxiously
(perhaps the most anxious I have ever been)
awaiting the word that the the surviving brother had been caught.

'remembering the shootout in watertown'

when stacey left for work around 5:00 a.m., as it was a truck day, I was sitting in the chair in the living room.  she was wicked confused about why on Earth I was awake at such an hour looking scared and haggard.  (not long after she left, she called marco and nadine downstairs to tell them I was upstairs looking a bit uneasy and asked them to check on me.  she is a great friend.)
I explained the situation, and told her I was not planning on leaving the house.
soon after she left, my boss called to say we would not be opening, as all the businesses in watertown and 'the newtons' had been asked by the governor to close to help enable the police and FBI to search more efficiently.

constant news coverage.
replays of footage of the bombing, of the security camera views of the brothers at the marathon.
explanations of how the car chase had begun during the wee hours of the morning:
a convenience store robbery.
an MIT officer from somerville shot and killed.
a car-jacking/kidnapping.
a shootout on laurel street, which also involved the detonation of another pressure cooker bomb.
another officer shot in the leg which nearly killed him.
the older brother being run over and killed by the younger as he drove frantically away to escape.
(it is difficult to remember what details I knew then and what was learned in the days afterward from  news anchors as they found out more detail from that night.  
regardless of when the timeline got pieced together, the memory of my feelings are clear to me.)

at this point in the day (as I began to type this post), stacey had arrived back at home, and though the ban was just about to be lifted on city shutdown, the brother was still at large.

I feel the need to remember today.

watertown is a quiet, residential community adjacent to the handful of newton neighbourhoods.
my daily drive to work at my pilates/barre studio took me the exact path that the brothers took in their police chase overnight on thursday into friday.
while watching the news coverage, the surreal awareness of each corner where the reporters were standing and filming resonated deeply.

'that is the cemetery on common st., where I cut through to get to the belmont pilates studio.'

'that parking lot where the police headquarters has been set up is the same parking lot where I parked to get my MA registration, tags, and driver's license, as well as a target I go to often.'

that day, as I sat in my house wondering if at some point, a suspected bomber might drive into my neighbourhood, I looked out my window to see this lady across the street.
I had to capture it.

after stacey got home, we sat and watched it all unfold.

while filling up my car that week, at my local service station, I noticed the flag at half mast.
the ban on the city gradually was lifted.
firstly, taxis were allowed to return the streets.
then, the T-both subways and bus service.
then, residents were told they could leave their houses.

a man on franklin st. noticed that the cover on his boat was flapping in the breeze, so he went to tie it back down.
the younger brother was found.
911 was called.
and, the news coverage followed the next couple of hours as we wondered if this could really be him.

could we sleep soundly again?
breathe a bit easier?

they got him.
he was injured but alive.
he was caught.

truly, boston's finest. (watch 'boston's finest' on tnt.)
people lined the street in watertown to cheer the police, FBI, bomb squads, etc. as they drove out of watertown back to their respective precincts and offices.
the news footage was emotional.

I slept better that night.

the next morning, I drove the normal drive to work.  it was quiet like it normally is at seven in the morning on saturday.  
I saw orange cones blocking the entrance into franklin st, and just beyond a news truck.  
other than those indicators, all was as it normally is in my view.

but, it was not the same as usual.
what one sees on the outside oftentimes does not match the inner struggle, pain, and shock.

but, we did, as a whole, as a city, feel a bit better.
we felt proud of our city.

my story of this horrific week in boston is from a distance of a couple miles.
there are so many I know who were feet away from all that unfolded, on boylston street and in watertown.  
I have friends who were two shops away from one of the bombs, saw body parts strewn along the sidewalks, and ran into nearby shops to take cover.
and friends who had bullet holes in the front door of their home from the shootout.
and friends who had men in riot gear search their houses for the younger brother.  

everyone has their own story of that week and each is unique.
how each of us felt is important and real.
we all have a story from that week.  
one that we will not forget.

I wanted to tell a bit of mine.

I pray patriot's day begins to be healed on monday as boston runs a marathon with special significance.

boston, you're my home.


Tuesday, 15 April 2014

a year ago today...


it was attacked and shaken.
however, not forever broken.
people, communities of new england, fight and persevere.
they rally and root one another on.

I was meant to have been there only feet away from a tragic event that tainted such a normally glorious day of celebration.
instead, I stayed home to nurse a headache.

I wish I were in my boston home today to commemorate, remember, and honour, in person.
I am not, and yet,
I will

I love boston.  I will always miss it.
it is full of lovely, loyal friends who love people well and live life with authenticity.
it will ever be part of my definition of home.

I am thankful for my family of friends in the commonwealth,
and although I think of you often,
especially today,
I remember alongside you.


{photo: @mindykaling}