This post doesn’t have much to do with food. It’s just something I was moved to write in light of recent events in my amazing city…Boston.
I found out about the marathon bombing while I was in New York City for a client event. I was in a conference room at my company’s NYC office, and will never forget the chills that ripped through my body when my coworker got a call from her husband alerting her of what had happened. Immediately, I went online, saw some very graphic images that will forever be ingrained in my mind, and experienced all at once fear, anger, confusion and helplessness. Upon confirming with my fiancé, who was back in Boston, that he was ok and also hearing that others I knew were not hurt…my team had to go about our business to execute the event that brought us to NYC. We did our best to stay focused, all while checking our phones constantly for updates and responding to concerned text messages as quickly as we could.
That night, I got back to my hotel room and watched in horror as the media showed over and over again what had happened. I kept thinking it was only a few years ago I was one of those spectators standing on Boylston Street beaming with pride as my sister crossed the finish line. The innocent people injured and killed were no doubt doing the same, just there to show their love and support.
On Wednesday morning, I headed back to Boston. My eyes filled with tears as my plane flew over the water and landed in my beautiful city. I practically kissed the sidewalk when I got out of the cab. I was so happy to be home, it was exactly where I needed to be.
Trying to concentrate that week on anything other than wondering where these guys were, how the victims’ families were holding up and how the injured people were fairing was incredibly difficult. On Friday morning, I woke up to a text message from my sister saying, “You aren’t supposed to go outside right now. Stay home ok?” Confused, I called her and turned on the news to find out what had transpired over night. The city was on lockdown. I’m sorry, what? My fiancé had left the night before for his bachelor party so I was alone. I didn’t feel unsafe, just incredibly anxious. My bachelorette was planned for that weekend as well, my girls from NYC, DC, VA, MD and Pittsburgh were all supposed to be coming in. At this point I didn’t even know what to tell them. Come. Don’t come. I don’t know. With each hour that passed, the anxiety grew more and more.
Fortunately, my fearless friends all came in regardless, and we all gathered at my sister’s apartment to eat pizza, watch the news, and just wait it out. Finally, “Suspect #2” was found in someone’s boat injured from the previous night’s gunfire, and was taken into custody. My heart went out to this kid. Make no mistake, he deserves exactly what is coming his way. But somehow, someone along the way turned him into a monster.
The past two weeks have been surreal. I’ve made my way down Boylston Street just to walk around, pay my respects and be apart of the city’s incredible resiliency. I planned a dinner with friends at Back Bay Social Club and grabbed some sweets from Sugar Heaven, in an effort to help these companies get back on their feet. What’s amazing is that I have fallen in love with Boston all over again. The people, the beauty and the sense of community make this city, in a word, fabulous. I have always been proud to live here, but nowadays…it’s on a completely new level. Boston has been changed forever, but these men’s actions will never define us. What will define us, in a quick snapshot, are the people that ran toward the bomb to help the victims, the amount of money the OneFund has raised so far ($29million+) and the writings on the wall of Niketown on Boylston Street.
We are, and will always be, Boston Strong.