You might have been expecting a post about the terrible events that happened at Monday’s Boston Marathon. You already know that it was heart-rending. You don’t need me to tell you how to feel, or to know that I am so sad that it has taken me two days to compose a positive post. Like everyone, Jesse and I have spent the last 48 hours hugging our kids, praying for the victims and their families, and trying to figure out what we can do to make a difference. (If you want to see the confessional, grief-stricken post, that’s over here. But it’s not what’s important — it just saves me having to tell the story out loud again.)
Yesterday morning, before returning to North Carolina, my mother reminded Jesse and me, “You know, this doesn’t erase all of your hard work and all of the money you raised for an important cause.” It’s true. Even if we did not get to cross the finish line, and even as that finish line was marred by violence, pain, and death, yesterday’s events do not undo the millions of dollars raised by those running the 2013 Boston Marathon. Presumably, some of those millions are being used by the Red Cross, Children’s Hospital, and Spaulding Rehab — which are among the official charities of the BAA — to help victims.
So, first I want to say thank you again for believing in us, in the good that we can do together, in the value of trying to create a more just world for all people. “If you want peace, work for justice.” It has never been more true. Thank you for joining us in that work.
Second, I want to tell you a story in thank you’s.
Thank you to:
Hannah, Katherine, Anna, MJ, Margaret, Ann, Chris, and everyone who made Team MBHP feel like a real team this year.
All of the kids who lifted my spirits with high-fives along the early parts of the course.
Team Psycho for the pretzels and Jack’s Abby for the rock band and cheers.
Hannah’s mom for meeting up with our team at many points throughout the course, taking clothes when I got hot, giving them back when it was windy, carrying bananas, love, and news of the other runners.
Mom and Emily for getting our kids back home safely from the course, and being calm and judicious in what information they shared about the situation.
The police and EMTs who brought us space blankets and were gentle with me in my confusion and panic, even amid the chaos of trying to secure the course.
Jesse for getting me out of there in one piece.
The runners and passers by who offered help when I was getting sick on the side of the BU bridge walking home.
Ben, Ruth, David, Natan, Laurie, Donna, and anyone else I’m forgetting who helped to get the word out that we were safe when my cell phone and fingers were iffy.
The Starbucks barrista in Cambridge who refused to let us pay for our drinks while we waited for a ride.
Mom for said ride, and Ben for the offer of backup.
Peter at Diesel and all the other non-runners who have looked marathoners in the eyes over the last day and just said, “I’m sorry.” No questions asked.
Heidi at Flatbread for checking in on us, voicing the grief and fear that we hadn’t yet found words for, and comping our lunch.
To these any everyone I’ve missed: you restore our faith in humanity when it is most compromised. Thank you.
Ways to help:
The One Fund – Official fund started by Gov. Patrick & Mayor Menino to help victims
Children’s Hospital Marathon Fund – Emergency and Trauma fund, which helps kids and families get the emergency treatment they need when faced with tragedy.
American Red Cross – Schedule a blood donation or support their material and emotional support services.