My Boston

It’s been hard watching the coverage of the Boston Marathon from so far away. I spent most of yesterday in shock – curled up in a ball on the couch shivering, wearing my Red Sox hat and my Boston Latin sweatshirt. It’s easy to feel anger and rage, but all I felt was hurt. I am devastated that someone could hate my city so much that they would hurt people on a day that is meant to be a celebration of human accomplishment. I have heard people say that Boston will come through this stronger than before because the people of Boston are strong and resilient. I think Boston will come through this stronger than before because people are strong and resilient. I’ve been reading so many wonderfully written pieces about the marathon and its meaning and about Boston and its people and about tragedy and what we really mean when we ask “are you ok?”, and I don’t pretend to have prose as good (or even coherent, really), but I would like to say a few things about it.

I’m glad that no one has taken responsibility. Yes. That’s right. I’m glad we don’t know why it happened. Because of this, we can take the time to mourn as a city for the people hurt and killed, as well as for our collective sense of safety. We can move past the anger and focus on the good. And there was a lot of good. The famous Mr. Rogers quote that made the rounds after Newtown made them again after the marathon. “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'”

And this has never been more true than this week. If we had known who planted these bombs, we would not have focused on Carlos Arredondo, the man in the cowboy hat. We would not have heard about a clock stopping to honor a dead child. Nor would we have heard about the thousands of people who opened their doors and their lives to those stranded. There are the nay-sayers, who ask that you stop calling Bostonians “flinty and resilient“, but I say boo to them. Bostonians are flinty and we are resilient, for the same reason New Yorkers are and Chicagoans are and people from any other city. The Yankees, who have been there before, played Sweet Caroline and the Indians played Dirty Water:

And all of my friends on facebook and twitter wrote about the heros and the helpers and the good people were doing. And this is what we need to focus on. Even though we don’t know who did this horrible thing to our home, in many ways it doesn’t matter right now. What matters is that we pulled together as a city, as a state, as a country, and as a world. Boston isn’t just the flinty strong you see in Ben Affleck movies, it’s a beautiful place with wonderful people. This post has not been very coherent, but I’m not feeling particularly coherent right now. What I am feeling is love for my city and for people all over the world. Thank you for wanting to help return my city to itself. Thank you for being Chicago Red Sox, thank you for rooting for Boston, and thank you for believing that we will come through this stronger. Because we will. I refuse to let my Boston be scenes of terror and missing legs. Here is my Boston in all of its glorious seasons:

Winter - Saving a parking spot, Boston style

Winter – Saving a parking spot, Boston style

First Spring - That brief warming before the inevitable late March snow storm

First Spring – That brief warming before the inevitable late March snow storm

Second Spring - This time for real

Second Spring – This time for real

Summer - When the 1812 Overture and some fireworks are all we need for a perfect evening by the river

Summer – When the 1812 Overture and some fireworks are all we need for a perfect evening by the river

Fall - The leaves come out of hiding

Fall – The leaves come out of hiding

The marathon will happen again next year as it has for the last 116. There will be more security, but that won’t matter – there will also be twice as many people running it. Because that’s what Boston is. Because that’s who people are.

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~ by Genevieve on April 17, 2013.

3 Responses to “My Boston”

  1. Thinking of you, G, and Boston

  2. This is beautiful and heartfelt! You are a true Bostonian.

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