I’m late. I know I’m late. Yesterday at 2:49PM EST marked the two-year anniversary since a pair of pressure cooker bombs rocked the city of Boston on Patriot’s Day. With the recent verdict in the Tsarnaev bombing trial and the emotions I was feeling due to my personal ties to the tragedy, I chose not to post yesterday. If I posted yesterday, it would have been extremely emotional and likely a bit controversial. I chose to wait a day, and write with a clear head. Well, as clear as my head could be at 5AM without coffee.
April 15th has been declared One Boston Day – a day to celebrate generosity and healing. A day to perform a random act of kindness. A day to show appreciation for local law enforcement and emergency services. A day to reflect on the fact that two years ago, there were people selfless enough to run toward the explosions to help others instead of running away.
One Boston Day 2015 was a gorgeous day. It was sunny and warm with a slight breeze. It was full of smiling faces that have so longed to pack away the winter boots and trade them in for sandals. I had planned a small get together at work to bid farewell to a coworker who’s moving on, and it just so happened that it fell on 4/15. I wanted her to know that she’s appreciated and that we’re going to miss her. It wasn’t much – just a group of friends, a few streamers and a table of cupcakes – but it made her smile. And that was all I wanted out of the day. I ended up getting much more, very unexpectedly.
Yesterday I experienced an extreme act of generosity that is going to allow me to continue living in my home, rather than move into what was sure to be a tiny apartment with a multiple hour daily commute attached to it. The amount of stress that feels like it has been lifted off of my shoulders is unreal. Instead of scrambling to find a new place to live and trying to scrounge enough money for a security deposit and moving expenses, I can enjoy a summer at the lake. I can sit on my deck with a cup of coffee and listen to quiet crash of the water against the lake wall while the sun rises.
Trust me – I know that there are people who have far, far less than I do and nobody appreciates that more than me. But it’s been a rough couple of years. I experienced a lot of loss and hardships, including several deaths of those close to me and a breakup where I ended up with a half empty house that no longer included my dog. Don’t get me wrong – it was the right decision and she’s well taken care of by someone who loves her dearly, but she’s my little girl and it’s hard not having that presence in your home that’s so excited to see you when you get home every day. It’s taken a long time to feel okay with that, but it helps that I get to see her smiling, drooling face every few weeks. I saturate myself with as much puppy love as I can in the short periods of time that I have with her. Because of all this I’ve felt very dejected and alone. I’ve been very glass half empty. I’ve been pinching every penny. But after yesterday, I finally feel lucky to have a roof over my head (that’s no longer in danger of caving in under eight feet of snow and ice) and to still have a place that Penny can come run around like a maniac until she exhausts herself and passes out on my lap.
This Monday is Patriot’s Day. Two years after the explosions, there are people who are still nervous to cross the Boylston Street finish line and I don’t blame them. I was there to watch people cross it last year and it was an exciting, but also eerie feeling. I’m going to have the pleasure of Penny’s company this year and we’ll be cheering on the Boston Marathon runners and I encourage you to do the same. It takes a lot of heart and strength to run 26.2 miles – especially those 26.2 miles.
Not everyone is qualified to run the marathon, but we’re all qualified to support those who are.