Patriots' Day has been a part of my life for years even though it's not a state holiday where I live; I've been a Red Sox fan since my childhood days and have since come to love the Celtics and like the Patriots (still a Raiders fan at heart, a love that goes further back into my childhood) and thus through sports this historic city has become a cherished place to me even though I've never been there.
I had the day off today and looked forward to an early Sox game and the running of the Boston Marathon, a wonderful tradition that unites one of the world's great cities. The only explosion any of us who pay attention to these things expected was the crack of a pistol to start the race and the roar of the crowd if the Red Sox won. That's what Patriots' Day is supposed to be. But it's not- not today. I don't know if it ever will be for the city or those who were injuredr the families who lost loved ones in a senseless act of violence and hate today.
I learned of this tragedy not from the news or the internet but from a close, dear friend who works in the city. It feels strange to tell you I'm glad that's how I learned of something so awful but I was, because it meant she was safe and could tell me. She worried about family members and co-workers who attended what should have been something festive. She wondered if the mass transit system that took her to work that day would be open to return her home. The overwhleming sadness and outrage an atrocity like this evokes in those of us at a distance became felt very different for me. I didn't feel a thousand miles away from the bloodshed, pain, and fear and yet I am.
It didn't take long for us all to take to the internet and social media to expose the best and worst of our collective nature. No matter how heartfelt the sentiments, all the condolences feel like hollow platitudes in the face and scope of something so terrible. I don't know that I've done anything but add to the noise myself but my heart is broken today for my friend and I'm thankful she's able to grieve safely in her home. I'm gutted that too many of our brothers and sisters in Boston can't say the same.
I'm emotionally stunted and have therefore not shed a tear yet everything inside is raw and my eyes do feel the sting. This song by the amazing band Switchfoot expresses better in five minutes than what I've attempted to do here. Let's all take a moment to close our red eyes and pray for Boston, that the tears shed will help to heal, cleanse, and unite us together in love.