Yesterday was the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings. As a Bostonian, I felt a pang of guilt because I didn’t realize that yesterday was the anniversary. The date of last year’s marathon hadn’t been seared in my brain, as it had been for tens (hundreds?) of thousands of people.
On that date last year, I was in the midst of a rare illness. Days of an unrelenting headache turned into weeks and months. I remember feeling proud on the morning of April 15, because I had the strength to walk the 10 minutes to Beacon Street to watch the runners run by for a few minutes. I remember the bright sun, which felt harsh and foreign, since I had been living in a darkened apartment for weeks. Hours later, as my mom sat in my darkened apartment with me, we started receiving texts from friends.
“Are you OK?” “We just heard about the bombing.”
We turned on the TV and learned the horrifying news. That morning, I had switched medications, and an hour or so after we heard the news, I started having heart palpitations. Every few minutes, I felt my heart flutter uncomfortably.
I wanted to give it time, see if the palpitations ceased. But Mama Bear insisted that we go to the ER. The ambulance came and took us to the hospital that I had been to four times in the past three weeks. As we pulled in, the ambulance driver said, “Keep your eyes closed, ma’am. I don’t want you to see anything that will upset you.”
I didn’t know at the time that many of the bombing victims had been taken to that hospital.
The ER folks did an EKG and something else and determined that I was fine. They said that the palpitations were probably caused by an overlap of the two different medications I took that day.
The hospital was on lockdown and we were escorted to an exit guarded by officers with rifles. We were told that we had to walk up the street to find a taxi, as no vehicles were allowed anywhere near the building.
In the days afterward, I tried to watch the news and read stories online. But the news was so upsetting that it exacerbated my health issue.
So to this day, the bombings seem like a bad dream to me. I don’t know all of the terrible details. On one hand, I’m glad to have been spared. But it has left me feeling detached from the suffering as well as the resilience that the victims and the city have shown.
I bought flowers after work yesterday, intending to leave them at the finish line or somewhere in Copley Square. Unfortunately there were gale-force winds at the time, and I didn’t see a secure place to leave them.
I brought them home with me and put them in a vase. When I look at them, I think of the lives lost, the survivors, and the entire city.
I don’t know what to expect on Monday. I hope and pray that runners and spectators feel safe and are safe.
I leave you with this video I learned about in this blog post. See #4.