I’m home from Cincinnati–a really great show! I do have a blog post with lots of pictures, but first things first: I, like many, am just sick and heartbroken over what happened in Boston yesterday, including the death of a precious eight-year-old boy.
I was out to lunch in Houston when the bombs went off, and thankfully, Rhianna Griffin, one of my coworkers texted me to let me know. I immediately called John to find out if all of the Boltons were ok, and it turns out my brother-in-law and nephew were downtown, catching the Red Sox game and the finish of the marathon. They heard the blast but were quickly escorted to Copley Plaza, which was secured and put into a state of lock down.
Patriot’s Day in Boston is incredibly special. As it is a state holiday in Massachusetts, it is a joyful day signifying the beginning of spring as the last of the snow has finally melted and the temps, at long last, rise. From Hopkinton and Heartbreak Hill to downtown…the streets are lined with thousands of people…with families, college students, and well-wishers, cheering the runners on with shouts of encouragement, live bands, water, orange wedges and high-fives. Simply put, it is a feel good day.
Coincidentally, I had planned a blog post later this week celebrating something that happened exactly 20 years ago: the first time I ran it.
In this above shot, I just finished the hardest leg (Heartbreak Hill), and I’m hearing the shouts of college friends as I pass my alma mater, Boston College. One of my roommates (on my right in this picture), Ann Boyle Nagel, spotted me at mile 19, and as the captain of the B.C. women’s crew team and an ROTC recruit (and hence in incredible shape), she ran the last seven miles by my side, encouraging me to keep going.
Five years later, John and I ran the Boston Marathon again, on behalf of Children’s Hospital to raise money. I was also a special needs teacher in Newton Public Schools, and this time when I ran up Heartbreak Hill (which is in Newton) many of my students were lined up on the side of the road, some in wheelchairs. My students had significant physical and mental disabilities, and as I passed them and their “Go Miss Pokey!” signs, I thought about the daily, lifelong struggles they face, and how running a mere 26.2 mile race wasn’t nearly as arduous a challenge. Thinking about that got me to the finish line. It kept me going.
My marathon days are long over, but I am eager to participate in the Boston Marathon again, next time as a spectator, encouraging others along.
I am simply sick about what happened yesterday…and to the numbskulls who did this, know this: you’ll never tamp the spirit of this incredible day. We, as runners and spectators, will keep cheering each other on. And we will keep going,
Ok. Now I’m crying.
Smile! Someone may smile back!
It has been a difficult thing to see. We pray for all affected and hope for a better world than one with such sadness.
My son was working the copley plaza yesterday and he was locked in until 10pm. He was watching the finish line and left 15 mins before the bombs went off! texting and calling all the rest of the day. He is lucky he left early to go to work!
Thanks Pokey. So sad and heartbreaking. Poor people who are suffering from this act of cruelty. Thank you for telling us what it is like in Boston on the Patriot Day Celebration, I did not know about the day off and how much meaning there is to the marathon for so many people. Sending love to all those who are suffering, and wondering why?
Really nice post Pokey… 🙂
Loved reading your blog today. Best wishes to you and your family
Wonderful post – thank you!
Praying for all those involved. You are right the spirit cannot be broken. We all must stand together. Thanks Pokey, you are much appreciated.
Great post, Pokey! Thank you for sharing!
Absolutely wonderful post Pokey. We do need to cheer everyone on. We can not and will not let terrorists or insane people bring us down to live in the gutter with them. Let’s catch the person(s) who did this act and have them punished, continue to always look for opportunity to improve security, but mostly let’s all go on and run this race and celebrate with pride and integrity of knowing it is more important to live and do good for others.
I love seeing your picture as you ran the marathon, Pokey. It is unimaginable to think of this tragedy. I read an article yesterday, written by another runner, who basically said the same thing as you: no matter what happened yesterday the spirit of the event will live on. You can’t keep good runners down.
caro macv, io cito spesso la Pascendi, anche in questo ‘thread’ ( si dice cosÃƒÂ¬???), e la Pascendi essendo di SanPio X, onestÃƒÂ vuole che mi si dia credito di credere papalmente almeno fino a…. San Pio X (giÃƒÂ ci spostiamo avnti di una 30-ina d’anni)!
Great picture and post— prayers for all those affected by the bombings and chaos there… terrorists need to know however, nothing will stop Americans from their Freedoms!
Thank you so much for sharing! I have a special needs son and while listening to the song you posted and reading this post brought tears to my eyes! You have such a big heart and am thankful for people like you and John. My son also goes to the Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles! Thank you for your encouragement and heart felt words! You look great in the pix! Go Pokey!