Friday, April 26, 2013

I'm So Sorry.

Eleven days have passed since the Boston Marathon bombings and today was the first day since the attackers were captured that I had the opportunity to walk back to Boylston Street.

Not interested in the media craze nor spectacle of people, the draw for me was from within.

Out the building I went.  Cold today.  A breeze too.  Glad I wore my vest.

I should have some lunch before I go any further.  Rebecca's Cafe.  Some soup.

Found a seat at a small table with a partial view of Boylston Street.  Outside, against a building, rested several pieces of crowd-control fencing/barricades left from the marathon.  Other than that, people bustled by, going about their daily business (just a block form the marathon finish line).  I became quite reflective and thought about how events like the marathon bombings and Sandy Hook shootings can be supplanted every so subtly.

I want to visit the memorial.  I should go to the finish line also.

Four or five large media trucks lined Boylston Street at Copley Plaza (the site of the memorial). As I drew closer to the memorial site, my attention turned to the large number of items left there - flowers, hats, sneakers, notes, flags, shirts...

For the most part, the people moved about the memorial in silence.  Many were taking pictures or videos.  Everyone seemed to be reflecting.

I didn't think I'd become this emotional. As my eyes scanned the uncounted messages that had been written, tears started to form.

A hand-written message written by a child caught my eye.  It read:

I'm so sorry.

So true, Emma.  So true.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Marathon Monday 2013.

Monday of last week started like many of the Patriot's Days have for me over the past ten years or so.

I was working in the Back Bay section of Boston.  This particular job happens to be a temporary consulting position.  The other two jobs I've held in the past ten years were permanent, but also in Back Bay.  I was an Accounting Manager for companies located in the John Hancock Tower and The Prudential Center - both with views of Boylston Street.

I have completed the Boston Marathon twice, but I haven't run Boston in over 10 years.  But, as the saying goes, once you run Boston, it never leaves you.  If I get an opportunity to be "part" of the marathon, I take it.  My part for the past ten years has been as a spectator - whether I watch it on television or whether I take a break from the office and walk down to Bolyston Street.

Last Monday, at about 12:30, I left my desk and walked down Clarendon Street to the corner of Bolyston Street and watched as the runners who had completed their 26.2 miles did their cooldown and walked in the direction of the Public Gardens and Boston Common.  They had just completed the premiere marathon in the world.

Before heading back to the office, I decided to try to get closer to the finish line.  This meant walking back up Clarendon and then taking a right toward the Boston Public Library.  I walked behind the library and started right on Exeter Street toward Boylston, but it was packed with people.  And there was no sun and it was chilly (even for April in Boston).  I decided to head back to the office.

I spent the next hour and a half or so preparing for a 3:00 meeting while also checking on marathon news via  Sarah was keeping me up to date on Joey McIntyre's progress.  LOL.

In hindsight, I heard the explosion at 2:50 while at my desk.  But, at the time, I thought it was an 18 wheeler driving by on the nearby  Mass Pike.

While meeting with this individual, his phone was buzzing off the hook.  Then, at about 3:30, he said "excuse me, I need to check my phone." He turned to me and said there had been an explosion at the marathon.  That is when the talk and speculation started.

I returned to my desk to 6 missed calls, a voicemail, and an email from Sarah.  Having told Sarah that I would likely walk down to check things out at the marathon, she wanted to know I was okay. She was relieved to hear my voice when I called her @3:50 pm on Monday, April 15, 2013.  It was about one hour after the moment our city would be changed forever.

It has been a week since.  What a week.  Too much to digest.  Too many emotions.  Too many questions.  Although difficult to do, I have been trying to focus on the goodness over the evil.  MOST people are good.  Most humans are kind.  Most humans love.

The gentleman in the blue jacket below has been in charge of the finish line for the Boston Marathon for the past 17 years.  He was also my senior year high school homeroom teacher.  He is one of the countless individuals who reached out to help those in need last Monday.  Thank you God for the goodness in the world.