April 15th, 2013.
It’s been 6 months since i’ve moved to Boston, and am so excited that I get to experience my first marathon! How do these people run for 26 miles? I gripe about driving 26 miles. These folks are nuts. And incredible.
After grabbing some food with my buddy, we head down to the finish line. Incredible! I mean, I’m used to a crowded holiday on a beautiful day on Boylston, but this was insane! So many people are out to cheer on the runners. I just want to get a picture of me at the finish line to post. Not happening. A “can’t believe I’m at the Boston Marathon finish line” post will have to do. Okay, now time to get something to drink (I can’t believe it’s so warm out today!), and actually cheer on these folks!
I love how everyone is in such good spirits today. It’s nice to be in a large crowd without angry, stupid things being yelled out… but I guess the only thing I have to compare it to is a sporting event. -yeah, that’s a good point! maybe it’s the weather, or that people work so hard, or that
BOOM Smoke. Confusion. What… what was that?
Screams. Lots of screams.
Running the other way?
BOOM! SMOKE RUNNING SCREAMS YELLING.
Let’s go, Jenni. We need to get out of here. We don’t know what that is, and we don’t know what’s next.
Hundreds of people running, walking, doing whatever we can to get away from the finish line. Miss, miss, are you okay? Your legs… they’re covered in blood.
This isn’t my blood. This isn’t my blood. This isn’t my blood.
Keep walking. Just keep walking. What happened? Did… did that just happen? Is this real? We need to figure out what’s going on. I’m sure our loved ones are freaking out. Oh no, my Facebook post. I gotta make some calls while we walk.
Cell phone towers are down. This IS really happening. Is it still happening? Are we waiting for number 3? Just keep walking. We just need to keep walking.
Eventually, my friend and I found a pub with WiFi, and were able to post to FB to let people know that we made it out okay, and to ask our friends to pass along the message. We walked, mostly in silence, to my apartment (at the time), over 2 miles away. I was also on lock down that Friday, when the brothers drove down my street during the chase, and when they finally caught the culprit.
I wish I could say it was over then, but to be honest it took, and is still taking, so much longer than I would ever expect to work through. I wouldn’t talk about this for a long time. It was weeks before a car door slamming outside was just a car door orI went anywhere alone. It was a while before I could feel comfortable in a crowd without panicing. It took months to be able to walk down Boylston.
Now, with the trial, a lot of it is coming back. I cannot listen to a survivor’s story without blubbering. I cannot think of those who lost their lives without losing it. I cannot write this without crying. The other day, walking down Boylston and seeing the bleachers being erected, I knew I wasn’t ready to go back to cheer on finishers this year.
When you experience something like this, it certainly changes you.. but I refuse to only have fear as a result. I did walk away stronger in some aspects, and that is what I hope to inspire you all with. We all know the innate Life is short motto, but it’s so true. We have no idea what could happen out there everyday that we are blessed with waking up. So, with that in mind, here is your recipe for the day:
1) Let the little things go as much as possible. You will become more patient, happier, and less stressed than you ever thought possible. Keep asking yourself what really matters.
2) Show more love to those less fortunate. Give back more to those asking for change, volunteer, hug a stranger. Do whatever you feel you need to do.
3) Take more risks in life.
4) Show your loved ones more love. You don’t know how much time you have with them.