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.