I wasn't there.
Neither my kids nor my husband were there. We were all safe.
She in NYC, is the one who alerted me of the events via text. He, safe on the golf course with my dad, 70 miles away from the war zone. My husband ensconced safely at his desk and I, enjoying a rare day off with my mom.
I wasn't there, but I could have easily been there like I had so many years before.
I can only share with you how most of us Bostonian who live here felt when the first waves of info came in:
It was 3:15, and I'm shopping at Neiman Marcus in a local suburb. Frick texted me. It read, "Mom, did a bomb go off at the marathon?" "Are u there?" "No."I replied." H/O"
I stopped, and searched the web on my iPhone. I googled Boston Marathon 2013. Nothing. I searched some more nothing. I then searched "bomb at Boston Marathon." I found the footage. I clicked on to the raw video and heard the news that a bomb had gone off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The report said it was a, "horrific scene". It went on to describe bloodied streets and loss of limbs and I immediately went into safety mode. I started mentally checking off my family members.
That's what everyone that lives here did.
The first text was sent to my best friend. She lives in Boston and is an avid runner. I knew the answer before I finished typing the text, so I immediately placed a call to her seconds after I pressed the send button. I couldn't wait. She answered, "I'm ok." She was crying.
"Thank God," I said. "Were you there?"
"Can," she said between sobs. "I was right there. I had just decided that it was getting cold and that I had shit to do and that it was time to go home." "I felt the blast behind me and turned to see the smoke."
I was so glad she was ok. So glad she was safe. So shocked that she had been so close. She hadn't even called her mom. I let her go, telling her I loved her and to call her mom.
Then I went over the familial list:
I come from a large family and the majority of us are 20-50. Prime Marathon viewing years. The texts began furiously. While I was walking through the store, word got out and people everywhere could be seen either talking on their smartphones or looking at their smartphones. I drove home because no one really wanted to NOT be in front of a TV at this point and we listened to Boston Sports radio, which turned into news talk on the ride home. It was an uneasy next few hours as we awaited word on the family safety. It wasn't until 6:15 that we knew for sure that both my 26 immediate family members were ok and my husband's 11 members were safe. We were lucky.
Then the worst news of all came.
3 people had died and one of them an 8 yr old boy.
Hundreds of people had been injured. It was worse than we could have imagined. I felt at that moment that life had changed.
We were glued to the TV for the rest of the night as I'm sure you were too.
Trying to make the best of a horrid day which was no happy holiday after all.