Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Boston You're My Home

Our two tallest buildings
"Everybody throw your hands up the in the air and pump them up and down!  Congratulations, you just crossed the finish line of the Boston Marathon."  Anyone who has ever been on a Duck Tour in the city of Boston has heard those lines as the big duck boats meander across the thick painted line near Copley.  I have been on three of them (schools love using them for field trips) and they have never failed to point out the finish line.  I have walked a part of the route (the end part) the last several years raising money for cancer research, surrounded by family and friends, in some of the most uplifting moments of my life.  I knew dozens of people running the Boston Marathon this year, and even more spectators   Imagine my surprise when I went to check my cousin's time and instead seeing the breaking news.  It could not be real right?  There are moments in your life that you know everything is changing and there's nothing you can do to stop it.  Yesterday was one of those moments in my life.

Boston is my city.  My adoptive parents brought me home to a two bedroom apartment in a decent neighborhood (though that's more debatable now) before we moved out the boonies, twelve minutes from the city line (yes, I've timed it).  I will marry there in the church where my parents were married and where I was baptized.  I have walked the streets (and made fun of them for being created by cows) and seen the sites.  I have stood in line many times at Mike's Pastry (yes, the line at Moderns is shorter, but I like Mike's better).  I have a membership to the Museum of Science and randomly drive to Cambridge/Boston to go there, cursing the traffic on 128.  Fun fact, you can stand in both Cambridge and Boston at the Museum.  Very neat.  Northeasterners are hardy people.  I have heard us described that way many times.  We endure long and hard winters.  We suffer heat and humidity in the summer when we flock to the coast for relief.  We have been hit with both hurricanes and nor'easters in the same year.  And we deal with it, usually with a cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee in our hands and a Red Sox cap on our heads.  We work hard and play hard.  We are immensely proud of our sports teams when they are winning, and secretly love to complain about them when they are losing.  We have suffered heartache before.  Two of the airplanes involved in 9-11 came from our airport.  We take our shoes off mostly without complaint, feeling the deep shame that comes with that association and the losses we suffered.  We host an amazing event each and every year, and have for over 100 years.  We read fluff pieces in the paper about Dick and Rick Hoyt and joke about how it is the one day of the year that the people of Boston chase a Kenyan through the streets.  I for one can not wait for the 2014 Boston Marathon.  It is going to be the best year yet.  We are hardy people, remember?  I do not run.  Ever.  But I am going to start training.  And maybe I will run next year.  If I do not, I will be there along the route cheering people on, like when I was a kid.  I will not be alone either, even if I have to take a vacation day.  I am determined (or stubborn, depending on how you look at it).

Fenway Park - Home of the Boston Red Sox
Yesterday was one of those days that I was glad I am in reunion.  I had a list a mile long of people to check in on.  My natural family was on that list.  I did not have to wonder if they were safe because a quick text from my sister confirmed that they were over an hour away from the marathon finish line and had not gone to watch anything.  My cousin had finished earlier and had moved away from the area by the time the explosions happened.  Another cousin had moved away from the storefront only ten minutes before.  Talk about being lucky.  For those of you that do not know, the Boston Marathon is one of (if not the) crowning events in Boston every year.  It is our biggest triumph   It is Patriots Day, a day when most people (not me sadly) have off from work.  The kids are out of school for school vacation week.  It is not unheard of for someone without knowing anyone running to go cheer on the runners.  Then again, it is also unheard of for a person in the area to not know someone running.  This all translates to the fact that people in general have no idea how many people they know are in town or along the route somewhere.  It made for a scary day yesterday.

A part of me could only wonder.  What about all the natural parents out there who do not have contact with their children?  At least ten children were injured (based on the number being treated at Children's Hospital Boston), one killed.  What about the adoptees who may have had family running or watching near the finish line?  When not in reunion, it is so scary to think about not knowing.  At an event like this, it is not completely unfounded to wonder about these things.

When events like this happen, people usually pull together.  I have seen it already as family and friends have rallied and will continue to do so over the next few weeks and months.  To me, it highlights people coming together in the best of ways, and showing the world that while you can beat us, you will not break us.

My heart goes out to the victims and their families.  My heart also goes out to those who do not know if they were connected to the victims due to separation (due to adoption, or any other reason).  Hopefully we all will find peace somehow, and will show each other the way home.