Saturday, April 15, 2023

Boston Strong 10 Years Later…

It's been ten years since April 15th of 2013... It's weird how something can happen and sometimes it feels like forever ago and other times it feels like it was just yesterday.

But it's been ten years since my world was shook.  I can't believe it's already been 10 years.  There's a lot of tragedy and sadness in the world, but this was the first time it hit so close to home for me.  It was like my bubble of perceived safety had popped.  This was my city.  The city that Eliot and I had basically just moved away from.  

April 15th was like any other April 15th for me.  It was Tax Day.  As the daughter of two accountants, I had that on my mind while I bopped around our rental house, off in my own little world.  I wasn't working anywhere at the time, as Eliot and I had just relocated to Maine in December.  We officially left our rental in Woburn, MA that March, so I was busy unpacking and settling the last of our possessions into the house.

At some point during the day, I took a break to get onto my computer, check my email, check Facebook... the usual.  And that was the moment when the world stopped.

There had been a bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

Like many other Americans, and especially Bostonians, I sat glued to the news.  For days, I sat and watched as the events unfolded: the aftermath, the victims and the lives lost, the suspects at large, an entire city being shut down, the pursuit and finally the killing of one suspect and the capture of the other.  It was terrifying.  

The world can be a scary place, but this one hit me hard.  Eliot and I both had lots of friends still living or working in Boston and the surrounding area.  And of those friends, some of them were even at the Boston Marathon events.  It was terrifying to watch as friends posted online to "check in" and let everyone know they were alright.

I felt so helpless, but I wouldn't let the despair I felt take over.  I clung to hope, courage and even a little bit of defiance that this wasn't going to break us.  I bought a Boston Red Sox Hat and a Boston Strong t-shirt, where the proceeds from both went to the victims.  The city came together.  Big Papi delivered an epic speech at the next Red Sox game about this being our city.  People were a little bit kinder and more gentle with each other.  And from the darkness of evil, the goodness that came out of it prevailed.

My family went down to Boston in May of that year.  We saw the makeshift memorial- like all of the ones you see on tv where there's an endless sea of things left as tribute where something awful has happened.  The baseball hats, runners sneakers, stuffed animals and flowers threatened to take over Copely Square.  Seeing the outpouring of love located where something horrific took place, made me feel hopeful and yet broken at the same time.  Things like this aren't supposed to happen.

We went back again over Eliot's and my one year wedding anniversary when we went to a Red Sox game with my parents and Jeremy.  It was during that game that the Sox clinched the AL East Championship.  That fall, the Red Sox would go on to the World Series Finals, winning the 2013 Major League Baseball Championship.  It felt like it was almost fated.  It was only about 6 months after tragedy had stuck the city, and the elation of winning brought some happiness and hope back to a city still grieving.

And over time, Boston has slowly healed.  Although 4.15.13 is never forgotten. 

A lot has changed since that April day ten years ago, but it's still there in the back of my mind.  I still remember it every time we go by the finish line in Copley Square.  It brings me back to that day and all of the emotions that I felt.  It's not as raw, but it's there.  And I'm sure that it always will be.

To all of those affected by the horrific events of that day, we haven't forgotten.  Time may have passed, but it's still there.  But all of the good that came from that day is still there too.  That's what I'm trying to focus on.  We lost far too much that day, and in the days that followed.  But from the evil also came goodness and hope.

And may we hang onto the togetherness and may we always be Boston Strong. °o°

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