Tuesday, April 16, 2013

United we Stand | Prayers for Boston, MA

I was there.

And I'm not saying that in a "OMG I was there when it happened" kind of way- I literally mean, I was there.  Literally a few blocks down the road.... And it's just starting to sink in. Let me start this off by saying that there are no words for the inhumane, selfless acts that ensued yesterday in Boston. There are no words for how physically sick to my stomach this makes me. And there are no words for how united this city really is- and how everyone has joined together through such a horrific tragedy, on such a wonderful, celebrated day in such a wonderful, celebrated City. And so my story begins...

It was the perfect day. The sun was shining, clouds were in and out, and the temperature was a crisp 55 degrees. Beautiful. Situated just before the mile 17 marker, outside of "the club", we were ready with our sign, to cheer our Texan friends on. 

Both of them were complete ROCKSTARS!!! Claudio finished in 2:55:36 at 12:56 pm and Pam finished 3:31:08 at 1:52 pm- seriously, they are absolutely amazing. And thank God for that, because they finished their races, met up, and headed to their hotel before the day took a turn for the worst. 

After we saw Pam run by, we had lunch and a beverage, and made a game plan. We'd take the T into the city, do a little shopping on Newbury Street, and then see where the afternoon took us before dinner reservations and meeting up with Pam & Claudio. 

The T was pretty busy, because the Sox game had just let out. We got off at Hynes, and headed left towards Newbury St. We stopped in Patagonia to buy a fleece, and time stamped the receipt at 3:04 pm. When we left the store and tried to start walking down Newbury, police were beginning to divert everyone the other direction, and around the corner. The first police officer said "there's nothing to see here" - the second said "walk briskly, folks... there may be more" --There may be more? There may be more WHAT?!-- 

At this point, we were starting to put things together. The buzz had started with the other bystanders around us. There was an explosion. At the finish line. A second explosion. Blood everywhere. Limbs flying. Terrorist attack. People dying. All we could think of was we needed to get out of the city. Get us the F out of this city. 

I called Tom, I called my mother. Neither had heard what was going on. Found out that my BFFs husband and brother who was volunteering were both safe and accounted for. Text messages and phone calls started coming in like crazy- although that only lasted for so long before the networks got bogged down with activity (and ultimately cell service was shut off completely to prevent remote detonation of any additional bombs). 

We just started walking. Walking as far away as we possibly could. We walked and walked and walked. What else was there to do? We didn't have a car, and couldn't get back on the T. We kept our eyes peeled for a cab, but the chances of that were slim to none too. Somehow as we passed the crazy frat houses (complete with frat boys sitting outside on leather couches?!) a van pulls up next to us. A girl gets out of the taxi and grabs a suitcase from the trunk. The cabbie tells us just how lucky we are to have found him, and we don't disagree. Freedom. 

To put it into perspective, here is a map of Newbury Street. 

Black stars are where I was- Orange star is appx where the explosions occurred. Proximity is pretty close if you ask me, but the scariest part is the timing. Honestly, had we not decided to head left towards Newbury, and followed the crowd down Boyleston when we got off the T, we would have been walking straight into the explosions. We were in the store for maybe 10 minutes...and checked out at 3:04 pm - the first bomb went off at 3:00. 

Whoever was watching over me yesterday, thank you. I have {at least one} guardian angel- I have always known this. And I have definitely made it out of my share of scary situations practically unscathed. I will never take for granted how lucky I am. For my own well-being, but also for those I love. And my love, thoughts, and prayers go out to those families who have been affected by this horrible tragedy. Especially to the family of that precious little boy. Hug your family and friends and tell them you love them. Life is fragile, and way shorter than you think it is. 

And when they find the son of a bitch who did this.... well, let's just say that I hope that he is not lucky in any way shape or form. 

Love that dirty water. Boston, you're my home. xoXO

Laugh much, cook often, and always wear stilettos
xoXO ~ Coleen

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