After showering and relaxing with a cold beer I dug out my Kindle to check Facebook to see if I had a message from my friend Sue on Andante. Instead I saw a posting from my son telling everyone that he was OK. I was puzzled. OK, from what? Why wouldn't he be OK. I began to dig and saw other postings from my friends about the Boston Marathon bombing. I'll admit I didn't realize it was Patriots Day, as in this lifestyle, I often don't even know the day of the week, let alone the date. Anyway, I quickly got out the satellite phone and after a few frantic minutes managed to get a signal. Was I ever glad to hear his voice! He had been watching the race a mile away from the finish line. I was thankful when I heard that he was safely home and not going anywhere, but I mourned for those hurt, and for a city I hold dear in my heart.
I lived in Boston for 10 years during my young adult days. My son was born there. I found my career there and have many loved ones there still. I remember well my first Patriots Day in Boston. I had never heard of Patriots Day, but my coworkers filled me in on the traditions. There were two choices go to the early Red Sox game or watch the marathon. I got a standing room only ticket for the Red Sox game. It was my first Red Sox game and it was a crazy time. I'd never even heard of a standing room only ticket. The next year I watched the marathon. I lived only a few blocks from Wellesley College and joined the others there to watch the race. It was amazing, not only all the runners, but the number of people that turned out to line the streets and watch, hand out water, treats, and hugs. There was so much excitement and joy in the air as we cheered on not a team, but individuals who were out there culumnating the efforts of all their long training and living their dream, to run the Boston Marathon.
Later I lived in Boston's North End, not far from where my son lives today. I was poorer than a church mouse, so on weekends I would spend my time exploring the city on foot. I probably knew it better than those who had lived there for years. One of my favorite places was Copley Square and I walked there most weekends to visit the Boston Public Library where I would sit in the courtyard with my little picnic lunch and books. I also remember standing on that corner with a huge throng of cheering Bostonians watching a victory parade for the Boston Celtics who had won the NBA championship. So sad to think of the violence that occurred there yesterday.
One thing I know about Boston, is that the people are tough and thrive on tradition. I am certain that however hard, they will not let this act of violence prevent them from stealing the joy of future Patriots Days. Thanks to all my friends and family who checked in on Phillip yesterday.