Monday, April 22, 2013

Moving Forward

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This morning when I went out to take Roddy for a walk, I found these words which were drawn by my nine year old neighbor Emily. The past week has been life changing. I've lived through quite a few tragedies in my life. The earliest one I can clearly remember is the Oklahoma City bombing and then 9/11. I will never forget that day, I was in college and had gone to class that morning. My professor was a few minutes late and when she finally walked in her face was pale with shock. She said planes had flown into the world trade center and that there would be no classes today. I had to walk through the media center to get back to my car and there is a huge tv mounted high up on the wall. I stood in silence with dozens of other students watching the videos play over and over again. My parents were running their business in Boston at the time, directly behind the Massachusetts State House. I frantically called them to see if they were ok and hoped that they would get out of the city as soon as possible. Then there have been the shootings, Virginia Tech and the most devastating of all, Newtown.

But as terrible as all of those other incidents were, I was far enough removed from them that I could watch the news coverage, feel sad for a short time, and move on. I don't mean to sound insensitive, but I hope you understand what I mean. This time it was personal. I worked and played in Boston for all of my twenties. I stood on the sidelines of the Boston Marathon for years. I have walked down the sidewalks of Boylston Street countless times. I've spent many nights in Cambridge. And one of my close friends lives just a few streets away from the spot where the second suspect was hiding.

I'm not the type of person that outwardly shows my feelings when things that don't directly affect me happen. The victims were not my friends or family. None of my friends ran the marathon that day. I haven't even been into the city in months. I don't want to minimize the pain of those directly impacted in any way by feeling my own pain. But from the moment it happened until the moment suspect two was captured, I was glued to the news. I watched the bombs go off over and over again. I looked at the images of severely injured people. I stared at the haunting image of suspect two leaving his back pack on the ground right behind Martin Richard and his mother and sister. I texted my former roommate when I discovered that she was on lock down on Friday morning. Then again later that night when I realized that he was hiding just a few streets away. I saw the image of suspect one's ruined body in the morgue.

On Friday night as we watched the ambulance drive away with suspect two finally captured, we all breathed a sigh of relief. On Saturday we kept busy getting ready for and then attending my former roommate's wedding. It wasn't until Sunday that the weight of the week settled heavily on my chest. We got up and ready for the day and headed out for Bill to run a 5k in our town. It was a beautiful day, I took the dog with me.

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As we waited at the starting line, we had a moment of silence, and then sang the national anthem in memory. I knew B would be done in 30 minutes or less, so I walked the grounds of the hospital school where the race was taking place. It was beautiful.

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Then headed back to the finish line just in time to see him finish right at 30 minutes.

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We grabbed lunch at Chipotle then headed home for the afternoon. While eating lunch, B put on some episodes of the new Hannibal show. I noticed that my misophonia was in full force and that I was reacting very strongly to what I was seeing. Hannibal is all about investigating gruesome murders. I couldn't take it anymore, I had to ask B to shut it off. I realized that this tragedy has impacted me on a much deeper level than I had thought. However, I am so proud to be from a city that is so strong and has pulled together so tightly during this difficult time.

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