Last week's news is this week's reality. I can't bring myself to write about anything except what happened this past week in Boston -- the explosions and their devastation on Boylston Street at the finish line of our cherished Boston Marathon on April 15th, and the helicopter hovering over our condo, whirring all day long just last Friday, April 19th -- until Suspect #2 was captured.
I am no longer preoccupied with combing through the details of what happened last week; this week it's about how to deal with it all. How to process the violence, intrusion, loss and the reality that this actually happened right here in Watertown, in Boston, and in our country.
I love the new expression "Boston Strong" that can be heard time and again as we talk about this tragedy. Just saying, "Boston Strong" lifts us up. It connects us, energizes us and helps us to move forward. What also helps is reading the stories about how the community is dealing with this tragedy. I have been reading amazing emails and articles from so many trying to process, trying to heal.
I loved this letter from a runner/student member of the Tufts Marathon Team thanking their amazing coach Don Megerle for his incredible support and guidance. At the reception the day after the marathon he wrote: "Coach Don began by congratulating everyone for completing the marathon. There was no discussion, we had all trained and had all achieved. Still, each member of the team, whether an official finisher or not, felt the frustration in the accomplishment that had been taken away. But not a word of defeat was spoken.----- The sober mood lingered, but the unity and comfort of the team stood above the isolation and fear that an event like this can instill."
And then over the weekend there was a news clip about the line of mourners in Medford, MA that stretched around the block waiting to pay respects to 29-year old Krystle Campbell. It was incredible. Many who were interviewed didn't even know her but just needed to be there.
How do we process the story of sweet Martin Richard -- just 8-years-old? It's beyond painful to imagine this young boy running out to embrace his dad at the finish line and then be struck dead by a bomb. If that wasn't enough, our hearts are heavy thinking of his family, without their boy and the mom, Denise, who had to have emergency brain surgery and his 6-year-old sister, Jane, who lost her leg. The Richard Family Fund has been established for those who wish to donate.
The image of the sweet face of Sean Collier, the 26-year-old officer who was gunned down at MIT on Thursday night is fixed in our minds. I was so moved to read about his dedication to his work and how he was so beloved. The family's statement about their Sean -- saying it all with one word, "heartbroken," was crushing.
Lu Lingz -- adorable, vivacious, BU grad student from China, described endearingly as a chatterbox and loved by many is in our hearts as well. We imagine our own kids studying abroad and how her family must have felt being so far away. Frankly, it's impossible to process.
Singing is healing to be sure so what about Neil Diamond's live performance on the field at Fenway leading the fans in Sweet Caroline at the Red Sox game on Saturday? I was texting with my friend, a devoted fan, who was prepared for a day of high emotion at Fenway -- and she reported in -- "there was plenty of it". Love this video: http://www.latimes.com/sports/sportsnow/la-sp-sn-neil-diamond-sweet-caroline-fenway-park-20130422,0,6327776.story
Our friends at the London Marathon joined our mourners here in the States with moving tributes. They wore black ribbons; many people wore Boston Marathon shirts and they held their hand over their hearts as they crossed the finish line.
They carried us with them.
The local businesses are reaching out this week with love and heart. Here's a letter, so beautifully written, from a local health club acknowledging what has happened and reaching out to its members.
"Throughout our member community, many of you have experienced loss, lockdowns and evacuations. I know that now, perhaps more than ever, many of you need to regain a sense of normalcy ---"
The tributaries of this healing process run wide and deep. I am glad to be in Boston this week, observing people move on with their lives yet taking the time to process this tragedy and honor those who are wounded and those we have lost. So at 2:50 EST on Monday, April 22, the BA50 team joined in with all of Boston to honor the minute of silence that the Mayor and Governor requested -- we will not forget what happened but we will move forward because -- we are "Boston Strong."