Sunday, April 21, 2013

Closing Thoughts on Boston '13

“When I'm about overwhelmed by all this, I take this loneliness out on the roads … to know that there is an answer even though I may never find it." - George Sheehan

It amazes me that in less than one week's time, the agents who know what they're doing can take an area filled with unspeakable horror and thousands of pieces of evidence no bigger than a potato chip, and hunt these guys down to where we have one alive who hopefully will crack and give us some useful information. Promise him the world, let him spill his guts out, then say "just kidding" and lock him up with murderers like him, except murderers that love Boston and don't like their city desecrated. 

I posted a blog the week before the marathon about how the community comes together for this annual celebration. Then, this week, I posted another blog a day after the marathon about what a shock this all was, and how impossible it is to internalize what has happened. Now that the good guys have seemed to have captured the lowlife that did this, I will post one more blog and then try to let this find it's corner, as it will in all of us, somewhere deep, but never to be forgotten. Like 9/11 and Oklahoma City, it's with us everyday. Our lives have been forced to change and will never return to the way it was. 9/11 changed the way we travel, Oklahoma City changed the way work, and this will change the way we play. Sure, we'll come back strong and say we won't let the bad guys win or change the way we live, but it's just words. Our races will have more police, and more bomb-sniffing dogs. Our backpacks and bags will be searched more carefully. Our conversations have one more "Where were you when...?" entry into a much too long list of moments that sear a memory we don't want to revisit. 

Yes, there's still much healing that has to be done, both physically and mentally. Many questions are left to be answered, but hopefully, in time these will be answered in a way that will help to prevent this from ever happening again. Maybe wishful thinking, but what can you do but think wishfully? I'm glad they caught the hell-bound villain so that there is not this uncertain cloud hanging over us, but we all know the answers to the questions we are asking will not be answered quickly. So, now we must heal ourselves. If, like me, you don't live in Boston, we won't have the daily reminders of this week, and the utter horribleness will fade. Communities like Birmingham, where I live, had a "Memorial Run For Boston" this week, and I'm sure all runs and sporting events held this weekend had a deserved moment of silence, as we should. We will wear ribbons and mementos and Boston Marathon gear to show we will never forget, but the heavy sharpness of Boston Marathon Finish Line will become a dull pit inside us.  

In the reading the many, many words written and told this week, I realized something about the magic of the Boston marathon. If you come in once a year from out of state to run this marathon, it is truly magical as is the City of Boston itself for the runner. It is always springtime and the Red Sox fever is running high as they begin their season. Everyone is in a good mood, and come raceday, of course, it's a one goes to work or school. Instead they all come out  to run or cheer you on. They don't know you, but from Hopkinton all the way to Boston, you're a star. In this Boston, you run from town to town, up the infamous Heartbreak Hill towards the magical Bolyston Street Finish. "Right on Hereford, Left on Boylston" becomes your mantra.  But now Boylston Street will be still be a scene of celebration, but it will be a solemn celebration. Whooping and hollering at the finish line will also be done with solemn rememberence. This act didn’t just occur in Boston, it invaded the magical Boston of marathon day for all of us who have ever done it, have a realistic chance of one day qualifying, or mostly for those who close their eyes and just dream BOSTON. The theme of these days is "Boston Strong". I like the sign I saw that said "Wicked Strong".

I'll see you all on the roads. Stay Wicked Strong - AL   

"One child lost is too child saved can change the world" 

1 comment:

Yo Momma Runs said...

So, so happy when I heard the news about the last suspect's capture. Thank goodness! I've been amazed at how many non-runners in Birmingham have reached out to me to give their support of my hobby after this tragedy. It has really touched everyone.