Guest Blog Post: April 16th

My friend Christine works in Boston, but was thankfully working from home outside the city on the day of the Boston Marathon, so she wasn’t witness to the actual bombings. She did, however, go into Harvard Square the next morning and wrote about her experience in the city the day after tragedy struck. Christine used to have a blog of her own, but with post-graduate classes and a full-time job, she no longer keeps it up, but I didn’t want this unique perspective to live only in the confines of our gmail inboxes. So, with her permission, I’m posting it here as a guest blog post.

(Note: In the email she sent me, she opened with the fact that she was “very aware that this is from the privileged perspective of someone who did not witness it and was not injured by it.” She knows that, “for those people, there is no pretending.”)

Here’s what she wrote about the city that raised us, exactly as it was sent to me.

you could almost pretend it never happened.

if it wasn’t for the constant humming of helicopters flying overhead, setting the day’s soundtrack, scanning the ground below, skimming over the water of the river like dragonflies.

you could almost pretend it never happened.

if it wasn’t for the military officers in their camouflage uniforms at every entrance to the subway, their matching backpacks piled in the corner of the station, as their owners search through others’ backpacks.

you could almost pretend it never happened.

if it wasn’t for the headlines “MARATHON TERROR,” “HOMETOWN TRAGEDY” pressed up against the glass of a newspaper dispenser on the sidewalk.

you could almost pretend it never happened.

if it wasn’t for the flags, lowered to half their usual height, red white and blue flying lower, closer to the ground where the injured fell, where the blood spilled in pools.

you could almost pretend it never happened.

if it wasn’t for the whispered conversations of someone who knew someone who had just finished the race or who hadn’t yet finished the race or who almost went to the race, but decided not to.

you could almost pretend it never happened.

if every ambulance, every fire truck, every police car going by, every siren, wasn’t a reminder that those sirens carried over a hundred people all across the city yesterday, a hundred people who did not wake up expecting to end that day without a child. or without a sibling. or without a friend. or without a limb. or without hope.

and you could almost pretend there was no hope.

if it wasn’t for the courage, the people that ran towards the explosions instead of away from them, the people that carried the injured to ambulances and removed belts and shirts and scarves to fashion tourniquets, the people that didn’t shy from the blood, but tried to stop it.

you could almost pretend there was no hope.

if it wasn’t for the compassion, the runners that crossed the finish line and ran to the hospitals to donate blood, the people who filled up the blood bank until no more was needed, the messages and prayers and love of the world beamed towards this one city.

you could almost pretend there was no hope.

if it wasn’t for the people, the people who sewed up bodies and the people who sewed up spirits, the people who opened their homes and the people who opened their hearts, the people who held the hands of families and the people who held the hands of the dying, the people who led and attended vigils across the city and across the country.

it happened. but hope remains, that flickering light in each human spirit that blesses us with strength and resilience and peace and love. that flickering light, that when brought together with hundreds and thousands and millions and billions of other flickering lights forms a blindingly brilliant sun that will rise again tomorrow and light a new day.

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~ by Valerie Anne on 04/17/2013.

One Response to “Guest Blog Post: April 16th”

  1. This was beautiful. Thank you, Christine!

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