Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Stunned and saddened but not wordless this Wednesday

I have had a love affair with Boston since I was 14 years old and attended my first Pops concert at the Hatch Shell on Fourth of July. I don't live in Boston and I didn't grow up there. But I have worked and played and loved and learned in the city for most of my life.

I danced with my highschool friends in Boston's fountains on late summer nights.

I trolled the nightclubs and concert venues all through college and beyond. I saw The Police at The Rat and U2 at Tremont Temple before they became the world-class acts they promised to be.

And I walked hand-in-hand with Jan through the Public Garden under the falling snow on our first official date.

The day I started my first job in the city, I had the theme song to the Mary Tyler Moore show running through my head as I rode in on the Commuter Rail. I was so excited.

I was working in Boston when the Patriots won the Super Bowl in both 2004 and 2005. I was there when the Red Sox finally won the World Series. I was there when gay marriage was legalized and I was among those handing out flowers to the happy couples coming out of Boston City Hall.

Jan and I drove Bella into the city again on Tuesday less than a mile from where the explosions happened. The city was quiet.

But driving by Jamaica Pond, at just 6 o'clock in the morning, we saw first hand the indomitable spirit of Boston as lone runners made their way along the footpath that circles the water.

I had friends and colleagues in the race and among the spectators Monday. They are, thankfully, all safe. Not everyone was so lucky.

That is about as far as words can take me for now: They are safe.

But I want to try and say one last thing. I hope I can say it right.

I don't remember where I was working at the time but for a few years, I drove through the town of Concord, a Boston suburb. ("The" Concord of Revolutionary War fame.)

And I noticed that every Friday, rain or shine, there were people walking around Monument Square in the town center. Just walking. Silently.

I used to make a point to honk or wave. In time, I learned to give the proper acknowledgement - the two-fingered "Peace" salute.

You see, every Friday since the beginning of the first Gulf War, people have gathered there in peaceful protest. Every Friday, for more than 20 years, the people who walk and the people who pass by them take a moment to remember those who suffer the horrors of violence and war - wherever it happens.

3 people died in Boston Monday. 37 people died in Baghdad. To everyone who died yesterday and all who will die tomorrow in senseless acts of violence and hate, you will be remembered.

May we all, one day, know peace.

Music, as it always does, has played a large part in my emotionally traversing the last few days. Here's a link to some of Boston's finest - some 'wicked awesome' Boston tunes.

We will return to our regularly scheduled programming next week. Bella is home from her second round of injections and she is fine. We are going to spend the next few days holding our family close. Peace.


  1. Wishing you peace in return, Leslie.

  2. My husband grew up in Rhode Island and Boston is a very special place for him as well. One of my best friends was running in the race and I was so relieved when I heard her voice on the other end of the phone. My heart hurts for the families that will never be the same, and the lives that will be forever changed because of senseless violence.

    Thanks for the wicked awesome post - I'm so glad Bella is doing well - big hugs and prayers for peace to you!

  3. Well said. I lived near Concord for almost 10 yrs, but it was well before the Gulf War. I can visualize the spot that you're talking about...

  4. Greyhounds CAN SitApril 18, 2013 at 6:23 AM

    It's all so senseless and impossible to understand. Thanks for writing this Leslie. Living on the other side of the world we don't feel the impact the same as someone who is virtually there but we are still shocked, horrified and saddened by it.

  5. Jan K, Wag N Woof PetsApril 18, 2013 at 8:18 AM

    It's so difficult to find words at times like put it all very well. I've only ever been to Boston to visit the museums or go to Fenway Park. But I think living in New England, we all think of Boston as our city, the center of it all. Thankful those you knew are safe...thoughts with those that were not. Hoping and praying for peace everywhere.

  6. Lovely words on a very unlovely situation. I can't get over how terrifying it must have been for everyone present. It was supposed to be a moment of joy and celebration for month's worth, years even, of hard work. It takes a lot of effort to qualify for the Boston Marathon. To have it all torn away in such a brutal fashion is heartbreaking.

    My city of Halifax is historically linked with Boston in a number of ways and I think we are all feeling a lot of sympathy and solidarity with the city right now. It makes me so sad. I am so glad all of your friends are safe.

  7. Hate cowardly bombers. Loathe them. Hope they catch them quickly.

  8. Wonderfully written post. Glad that your friends and colleagues are safe.

  9. Written from the heart. Thank you. Very pleased they caught the monsters that did this.
    Peace to you, the ones you love and the world at large.
    Hugs and Wags,
    Roo and Mom