As a kid, when asked, “If you had three wishes…” one of those wishes was always to live in Boston.
On the way back home to CT from Boston family gatherings, I would practice my Boston accent (which sounded more like a rogue pirate than a Bostonian). I wanted a poster of Larry Bird in those too-short seventies shorts even though I was not a basketball fan. Why? Because of the Boston Shamrock on his jacket. Even now, the “Welcome to Massachusetts” sign feels like a return home.
I have a blessed life, but at the end of it all I will regret one thing. That I never actually lived in Boston.
The events of the Boston Marathon break my heart.
Whenever things get rough—when life hands me cards I’d rather not hold—I come to whatever it is from a place of gratitude. This is one of my best qualities, I think. It has literally saved me.
The events in Boston are still weighing heavily on me, and so I look for the good. Looking for the helpers (as Mr. Rogers used to say) and there are many. I am grateful that the many people I love who were at the marathon were uninjured—even the ones that stood at the finish line and witnessed the blasts. I am grateful that others that I love were spared seeing it at all. I cry for the losses and I cry for the triumphs. And there are so many of both.
I love the phrase, “Boston strong” because it fits—-man, is Boston full of a bunch of scrappy we’re-not-taking-this kind of people; I’ve always loved that about the city. I love how everyone around you in Fenway is your best friend for the day. I love the history of Boston and how the fighting spirit of being free from tyranny was born on its street and on its fields. I love the beauty and the humor and the energy of the city. I love how I feel like I’m part of something special when I’m there. Some of my favorite movies are set in Boston: Good Will Hunting, Fever Pitch, and Far and Away. Heck, I even wrote a whole novel with a beloved Boston theme. Why? Because if you’re going to convey emotion, I believe that your story has to have threads of things you really love.
And, I love Boston.
In the midst of all of this, I am prouder to be a New Englander and an American than ever. But, as an American and a mom and a wife and a sister and a daughter, I mourn too. I will for a long while. I have no doubt, though, that the Boston Marathon will draw record numbers next year and I plan to be there to cheer on the runners. Bostonians—and others from around the world–will stand. And run. With pride and with grit.
I may not have your zip code, Boston, but I have your back. My heart is with you. Just as it’s always been.