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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

the thing to know about boston

I am a Massachusetts girl. I was born and raised with a Dunkin' Donuts always within 1/2 mile of wherever I was. We summered at The Cape and if we were REALLY excited about something we would said "Oh my God, that was WICKED!" St. Patrick's Day was revered as holy and everyone in Boston was considered Irish on March 17th. Our urban planners have a thing for rotaries and we get liquor at the Packy (AKA the package store.) We fiercely support our sport teams and the best pizza in the world can be found in Boston's North End. 

Maybe you know this already. 

What you may not now is that Bostonians are resilient. Wicked resilient. And protective. And brave. 

When I watched the bombings happen yesterday at the Boston Marathon, like everyone else, I was aghast at the senseless, reckless, awful tragedy. I thought of the runners who trained in the snow, in the slush, when they didn't want to, just to qualify for the prestigious Boston Marathon. I thought of the families who were waiting to greet their runners at the finish line.  Joyful moments that were obliterated yesterday. Like you, I watched the same videos replay over and over of the exact moment when the first bomb exploded. I had to close my eyes. I said a prayer.  I took the dog for a walk. 

When I came back I watched President Obama (referred to one reporter as the Consoler-in-Chief on this day) as he vowed to put all his resources behind the efforts to arrest those involved. The explosion scenes were replayed again and again but this time I didn't just see the carnage. Bystanders threw themselves on children to protect them from the blast, at a cost to themselves.  The natural instinct is to flee danger but first responders and regular bystanders ran to help those injured. Some runners who finished the race ran straight to local hospitals to donate blood. Other runners gave their own shirts to use as tourniquets. Local restaurants offered free sustenance to those who were shellshocked. There was the story of a young shopgirl who whisked shocked little girls who had separated from their parents into the back storeroom away from danger. 

This is Boston, the home of the brave. 

Today as the city begins to heal from this unbelievable wound, souls will continue to come together to support each other. Law enforcement officers will find who was responsible. Doctors will continue to help the injured. Runners will tentatively set one foot in front of the other again. Small gestures of goodwill will be offered again and again and again in this city on the bay.

Yesterday I was so angry that some misguided person managed to cause so much damage on such a beloved day in Boston but this morning I know that hope and light always prevail. There may have been one or two dark souls who launched an attack but I have to remember that there are millions of points of light, not just in Boston but everywhere in this world of ours. Light shuts out darkness. As we did after 9/11 and after Newtown, today the best thing we can do is be kind to one another. Commit an act of kindness today and tomorrow and the day after. Let someone cut in front of you in traffic. Buy the elderly woman's groceries in front of you in the 10 items or less line. Bring a bag of dog food to your local animal shelter. Continue to live your wonderful, amazing life. Take in a Red Sox game. Fly to Walt Disney World. Donate blood. Soothe a wounded soul.

Be the wicked light that you are. 

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