A year ago, our souls came unraveled. Can it really be true that a whole year has passed? One year since the dual explosions on Boylston Street. One year since the terror and the panic and the heartache that had us all crying as we were gripped to the TV or our ever-present social media sites. One year since those iconic images kept us awake at night – the 78-year-old runner in the bright orange tank top fallen down on the pavement, the man in the cowboy hat helping one of the nearly 300 injured victims. One year since we learned about the two brothers, learned about the pressure cooker bomb. One year since the manhunt and the discovery in a backyard boat.
It wasn’t just runners who got hurt. It was friends and families of runners who were severely injured, who lost limbs or who, in three cases, lost their lives. These people are a special breed, as anyone training for a race of their own knows. They make sacrifices for us runners and no one pays much attention to them. The attention is all on us and our goal of finishing the race. They endure our long hours when we’re out hitting the pavement, picking up the slack at home, listening to our complaints of our aches and pains and insecurities about making it across the finish line. All the while they are the ones saying “You’ve got this. You can do this.” They gather at finish lines when we are obsessed about getting to the start on time.
Across the country and around the world, we rallied to support Boston. I bought a Boston Strong shirt at my local running store and in the days after the bombings, laced up with seemingly the world as we all “ran for Boston” with our very own race bibs. At the time, I was training for my first half marathon. I kept thinking about the support of my family and friends who would be there at the finish.
Where I live in Baltimore, we have been blessed to witness the triumphant spirit of a local 29-year-old woman who was severely injured as she waited for her mother to cross that famous finish line. Erika Brannock is courage personified. And so is her mother, who will return to Boston to run across that finish line six days from now.
There are still many victims in need of help. Let’s lace up and get out the door today (use the hashtag #118forBoston) but let’s not forget about them:
- One Fund Boston
- One year on, how to help Boston survivors
- The Brannock Fund
Please don’t let the day end without saying a prayer for Lingzi Lu, Krystle Campbell, Martin Richard and M.I.T. Patrol Officer Sean Collier, and without thanking the race spectators in your own circle of friends and family.
See you on the road,
xoxoxo ~ Mary