Wednesday, April 24, 2013

It feels as though I've been away from this blog for a very long time. Last week was school vacation, and we flew out of Logan Airport the morning after the Boston Marathon, wondering if we were doing the right thing. As a friend said of her family, their feet were in the sand, but their hearts were at home. That was true of us, too.

Part of my silence over the past week was being away, but part was a struggle to find words. So much has been written about that day, so eloquently. As for me, I didn't run, I wasn't at the finish line, and everyone I knew who ran or watched from the end of the race eventually got home safely. I'm so grateful for that. Still, I'll share one impression from what I think of as "before," and one small anecdote from "after."

The official halfway point of the marathon is down the street from our house, and every year we love to watch the runners and wheelchair racers react to the 13-mile marker. Some raise their fists in a silent cheer, some grimace, most check their watches, and every single one keeps going. We'll keep going, too, as long as we live here. It's our tradition, and that won't change.

One week later, we were coming home from our trip, making our way through security. We were flying to Washington and from there on to Boston. I handed my driver's license to the security officer, who looked at it and then at me. In an accent I couldn't place, he asked me where in Massachusetts I live. I told him we live outside Boston. "I'm praying for you, you know," he said. Immediately, my eyes began to sting. "Thank you," I said.

"This is why we're a great country," he went on. "We're strong. And we support each other." I nodded, not trusting my voice, and we continued through security headed toward home.

(Photos from Boston.com)


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