City of my heart


On Sunday, the day before Patriot’s Day and the Boston marathon, Grace ran her first road race.  On the marathon course.  I was in New York for work, so I missed it, but I was sent this fantastic picture.  My heart swelled with both pride and shock, because really, how can my baby be that old?  That tall?

On Monday, Patriot’s Day, as you know, there was an explosion at the Boston marathon.  That tall, lanky girl, for whom I think the word coltish may have been coined, dissolved into a puddle of anxiety.  I told both she and Whit what had happened the minute I heard (they were home from school, sitting in the room next to my office), mostly because I was so startled by the news.  She hovered around my office all afternoon, lurking, asking constant questions, reading over my shoulder.

Right before the explosions, we had been talking about groups of people from the Marines (or Army, I admit I don’t know) who ran the course in their uniforms with backpacks.  Grace’s first reaction to the events, and to the few pictures she saw of the devastation (before I turned the TV off), was: “But those poor people just came home from war, where they saw this all the time.  They weren’t supposed to see it at home.”

Indeed, they weren’t.

I spent the afternoon toggling between bewilderment at this world that we live in, trying to understand what feels like a relentless wave of violence, and hugely heartened by it, as I received more texts and emails than I can count from people from all corners of my life (and the world) checking that we were okay.

But most of all, this: the city of my heart, my home, is bleeding and broken, under attack.

On our day of celebration, which starts at dawn with reenactments of the battles of Lexington and Concord and ends with the last runners limping across the finish line long after the sun has gone down.  Our day of inspiration and striving, of humanity at its finest: I am always moved equally by the runners who push themselves past all reason and by the spectators who come out to watch the river of dedication and devotion.  Marathon Monday is a pure celebration of our beating hearts and of our feet walking on this earth.  This day, this Patriot’s Day, our day, is now forever marked by explosions, lost limbs, dead children (my GOD – an eight year old – Whit is eight – how is this possible?), senseless death and hurt.

I hate that it happened on our day, on Patriot’s Day, on Marathon day.  I hate that this happened at all.

I ache for my city, the city I was born in, the city I’ve lived in since I graduated from college, the city I love, my home.

I know that many other cities in our country have been visited by tremendous pain and brutality over the last several years.  I feel a sense of “it’s our turn,” followed immediately by outrage that I could ever say that. What world do we live in where that’s the deal?


58 thoughts on “City of my heart”

  1. I’m so sorry. Breaks my heart. I had my Red Sox sweatshirt on yesterday, when I heard. Someone stopped me, asking me if I knew. I was so shocked.

  2. I cried as the news was unfolding. It is very sad day for Boston and USA. Let those coward killing woman and children be punished.

  3. “He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds” Psalm 17:3

    We will lift up the people rocked by this tragedy to God, and He will send comfort, peace, and healing. What the devil means for evil the Lord can always bring out the good. I don’t know how many times I have seen the quote today from Mr. Fred Rogers ‘…look for the helpers.’ Look for those people who made such a great contribution to help these fallen. As long as we carry love in our hearts for our fellow American’s regardless of our differences, NO terrorist can ever take our spirit. We must stay strong. God bless.

  4. For some reason, my tears have been hiding. Hiding behind shock, hiding behind disbelief, lurking behind terror. Sitting here, reading your poetic words, the tears finally came.

    I thought of you first thing this morning upon waking, thought of your family of four opening your eyes to the light of a new day with the horrifying, terrific events of yesterday haunting every thought, each choice.

    Much love to you always. xo

  5. Oh, Lindsey, I was already heartbroken and horrified and terrified and so, so sad. I lived in Cambridge for a year (my husband is from Newton), but I never quite realized the significance of Marathon Monday. That something like this happens at all is unthinkable, but on such a celebratory day, it’s all the more cruel. Thanks for posting. xox

  6. I am at a loss for words, and completely lacking a way to put my head around this. The sun does go down and comes back up… but why does it seem that more often these days it is going down and coming back up on broken hearts? I feel like a little girl with my urge to scream “it’s not fair!” And I feel powerless to help those who have been victimized. My thoughts and heart are with you and your city… xo

  7. I’m so glad that you and your family are safe and unharmed. I’m planning to write a little bit about these events today, and I’ll include a link to this post.

  8. Lindsey,

    I don’t know many people in Boston so when I heard the news, I thought about all the “virtual” people I know. I’m glad that you, your family and friends are safe.

    I’m sure that being close the epicenter of any tragedy brings it closer to home. I was in the Caymen’s when the earthquake hit Haiti. We even felt the aftershocks. I remember feeling much like Grace did, anxious. When you are near such pain, or narrowly missed being inside the pain yourself, I think the natural reaction is to try to make sense and understand it. To be afraid and then perhaps, eventually grateful.

    My children are too young to understand such things. I hope that in a few years when they are as old as your children I won’t have to explain terrorism; that it will be something of history.

  9. What is there to say that hasn’t already been said? There are fierce thunderstorms here today and I think that’s appropriate. Sending thoughts and prayers and hugs for you, your family and your city. xo

  10. Oh Linds. When I heard the news yesterday, I immediately thought of Grace running just the day before. Knowing you are a big runner, I was so worried that you may be down there. The way some humans treat each other really makes me question where we are headed. There are so many bigger inhumane events such as Holocaust, Apartheid, the KKK, etc, that in relation this is, I hate to say, a blip but we still feel it. No matter how big or small the act of terror, for each and every lost or tortured life, we are affected. As a nation, we are grieving right along with you. I’m trying really hard to focus on the heroes of the day but it is so hard not to feel the ache for the victims, the injured, and the world as we add another notch on the belt of inhumanity.

    Love you Linds. Hugs from here.

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