Deep Breaths and Thankfulness

Posted by on Apr 21, 2013 in Admin, Blog | 1 comment

Yesterday, I finally started taking some relaxed breaths since news of the Boston Marathon bombings first surfaced last Monday. Even after Dzokhar Tsarnaev was apprehended on Friday, I let out a huge sigh of relief, then started yelling as I shouted my thanks at every official cop car, ambulance, motorcycle and flashing light that drove through Watertown Square. It reminded me of the primal scream done during exams when I was a student at Boston College. But instead of having to hunker back down into the frustration of studying afterwards, my words simply flew away on the breeze along with the anxiety of a terrifying week.

I thought that the suspects had come close enough on Marathon Monday, shattering the jubilant nature of the streets I had walked down many times in my years as a Bostonian. I was horrified to learn of the havoc wreaked on the innocent and even moreso that nails and ball bearings were used to increase the impact of destruction. Then I woke up Friday morning and learned that the men who had caused this atrocity were in the town where I lived, holed up pretty close to family who lived in that particular part of Watertown. Rapid reports of explosions and gunfire in the early hours of the morning seemed too extreme to be true…but they were.

My family has always been good in a crisis and the emails flying back and forth in those early hours were impressive. Everybody was okay but there was definite concern for those who lived closest to the action in addition to my mother who is just over the border in Belmont. Then the emails and Facebook inquiries from friends, co-workers and clients from my practice started coming in. Facebook, for all of its maddening format changes and quirky features, became the place where I found fast information and an outpouring of concern. And, as it is with any time where you have to sit still (due to the secure-in-place mandate), the things I noticed were deeply felt, touching my heart even though it was lodged firmly in my throat.

I don’t need to tell anyone following the tv coverage how long the day felt. My emotions seemed to be splayed out everywhere: concern for my family, compassion for those who had lost their lives or had been injured over the course of the week, amazement over the increasing ranks of law enforcement personnel filling the parking lots of the Arsenal/Watertown Mall, and curiosity about the suspects who had caused all this mayhem.

While I was chafing against the secure-in-place order, I was surprised when they decided to lift it and concerned about being outside while the suspect was still at large. I was even more surprised when I learned that shooting had begun again shortly afterwards and that the suspect had been potentially caught. It felt like someone had decided to rewrite a bad movie ending although, this time, the rewrite was solid gold.

There’s still much to be done now that Dzokhar Tsarnaev is in custody. People are still recovering from the Marathon and some have just begun to mourn. Like so many others, I’m trying to find a way to contribute toward their healing. But I’m also thankful for a great many things. I’m grateful for the swift containment of a terrible situation thanks to the amazing efforts of all local, state and national law enforcement personnel. I’m thankful for the love and concern I received over the course of Friday. I’m thankful for the fact that my family, neighbors and friends are all safe. And I’m thankful that my beloved city, while shaken, is stirred in some of the best ways possible. Boston IS strong because its heart is strong. May that heart keep beating for a long time to come.

One Comment

  1. Thanks for sharing your experience during this scary, sureal episode!

    Tom

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