We Are Broken
It’s a beautiful day in Boston today. The sun is shining. It’s warmer than it’s been in a while. This is the kind of day we’ve been waiting for. But even in the light, it’s a dark day here. Some of us are finding out, slowly, that our friends and family are okay. Some of us are finding out that they aren’t. It’s hard to believe that any of this has happened. It’s hard to write. It’s hard to think. Bombs went off. In Boston. At the Boston Marathon, our most beloved yearly event.
Yesterday morning, Roozle asked if it was a school day. I told her that there was no school, and even no work for a lot of people, here in Boston because there was a big road race. The biggest one in the city, the great Boston Marathon. She asked if I would take her there. She wanted to watch.
I grew up going to watch the marathon. My family handed out orange slices to the runners for years. I would bring my dolls, some snacks, and we’d set up a little spot along the route to watch and cheer. For days before the race, the news would be full of the runners’ stories. How they trained hard to qualify and made it to Boston for this historic race. As a kid, as an adult, I was so proud of them. I was so proud of my city.
Yesterday, though, we didn’t go. I was home with Roozle and saw a friend’s update on Facebook. Then I checked Twitter. Oh god. I realized that my brother was there. The ten minutes it took him to respond to my texts felt like an eternity. He was fine. Oh god. How is this happening? Then an email from Roozle’s preschool class started, with families checking in, slowly, one by one.
And while all our friends and family are okay, we’re not all okay. Three are dead. 176 are injured. Thousands of Bostonians and visitors are struggling with the images and sounds and devastating fear from their experience. Even more are struggling with the fact that they, too, could’ve been there. That they too, walked by that very spot that same day. Or work in that building. Or drive down that street. This is our home. This isn’t supposed to happen. But it did. And we are broken.