Friday, July 19, 2013

Boston 2013 - By Kelly Luckett

Before the race from left: moi, BethAnn, Kelly, and Randy
Photo: S&L Photography (Jennifer)

(RB note: This article first appeared in The Darkside Running Club's newsletter, Issue 46, Summer 2013)

 Boston 2013
By Kelly Luckett

Boston Marathon 2013.  Those words can never be spoken, written, or read without thinking of the unspeakably horrific events that happened April 15, 2013.  Lives were lost and lives were changed forever.  The fact that the marathon was hijacked for the runners is understandably upsetting, but that is insignificant compared to the deaths, grievous injuries, and severe emotional trauma the bombings caused.
Because I feel so strongly that those killed and injured should not be forgotten, and that their stories are so much more important than mine, please take a moment to respect them by reading their names and brief information listed below:

Martin Richard, age 8.  Third-grader , athlete.
Lingzi Lu, age 23.  Student at Boston University.
Krystle Campbell, age 29.  Restaurant manager.
Sean Collier, age 27.  Police officer (in the line of duty on 4-18-13, related to the bombings).

Jane Richard, age 6.  Little sister of Martin Richard.  Leg amputation.
Denise Richard, mother of Jane and Martin Richard.  Vision loss in one eye, head injury.
Bill Richard, father of Jane and Martin Richard.  Shrapnel injuries, burns, hearing loss.
Karen Rand, best friend of Krystle Campbell.  Leg amputation.
Adrianne Haslet-Davis.  Leg amputation.
Adam Davis, husband of Adrianne, returned from Afghanistan duty 2 weeks prior.  Foot injury.
Erika Brannock, Leg amputation, serious injuries to remaining leg, burns, hearing loss.
Nicole Gross, sister of Erika.  Multiple, severe injuries to both legs, damaged ear drums.
Michael Gross, husband of Nicole. Shrapnel injuries, burns.
Roseann Sdoia.  Leg amputation, injuries to remaining leg, shrapnel injuries, burns.
Heather Abbott. Leg amputation.
Mery Daniel.  Leg amputation.
JP Norden.  Leg amputation, shrapnel injuries, burns.
Paul Norden, brother of JP.  Leg amputation, shrapnel injuries, burns.
Jeff Bauman.  Double leg amputations.
Celeste Corcoran.  Double leg amputations.
Sydney Corcoran, daughter of Celeste.  Torn femoral artery, leg and foot injuries.
John Odom.  Shrapnel injuries; severe nerve and artery damage caused by the blasts.
Marc Fucarile.  Leg amputation, serious injuries to remaining leg, shrapnel injuries, burns.
Christian Williams, multiple injuries to both legs, de-gloved fingers (skin torn from his fingers).

Most of the injured individuals have fundraising pages (many of them on to help cover the necessary lifelong medical care, prosthetics, possible modifications to home and vehicle, and at least temporary loss of income.  Please consider making a difference by contributing to any of their fundraising pages.  At least, please pray for their healing and peace, as well as for those who were first responders, and the families and friends of those injured or killed.  Thank you for your consideration of those who were there to cheer for us runners at the Boston Marathon but who left with devastating injuries or lost their life.

My experiences at Boston 2013 seem so unimportant in light of the deaths and injuries.  I just feel blessed to have left Boston with my life and all the limbs I went there with.  However, I know many people want to hear my story, so I’m writing about my experience so others can understand a little more about what happened that day, and honestly, it is good therapy for me.

Race morning for the Boston Marathon 2013, my 9th consecutive Boston, started out very well.  Everything went smoothly getting ready at the hotel that morning, and I had the added excitement of having my dear friend and fellow leg amputee, Richard Blalock, there to run his first Boston Marathon.  We would both be starting at the 9:00am Mobility Impaired (MI) Division start.  Sadly, the MI start gets little to no media attention, even though there are usually about ten of us and our guides there at the start line, and I personally believe ours are some of the most interesting and inspirational stories among all the Boston Marathon runners. 
To understand a little about the MI Division, you need to know a couple of things.  One, we have to qualify to run Boston.  We do not get automatic entry.  We get an extended qualifying time, based on our level of mobility impairment, but we have to work hard to qualify, just as most of the other runners do.  Second, there are many reasons why most of us have a guide (or two; we are allowed up to two guides. The Boston Athletic Association (BAA) strongly encourages the MI runners to have a guide).  We start earlier than the other participants, but we are not as fast as they are.  Once we are out on the course, we soon have athletes in the handcycle and wheelchair divisions flying past us.  If we are in their way, it would be very dangerous for us and for them.  Same goes for when the elite women and elite men pass us, including the media trucks that drive in front of the elites, with camera men and women and photographers on the back.  Then there are the remaining packs of runners, in three more waves throughout the morning.  Most all of them are faster than your typical marathon runners.  Not only do we MI runners have to make sure to not get in the way of the faster Boston marathoners, it’s also difficult to get to the fluids at the aid stations, since we don’t want to move over in front of the faster runners and impede their progress.  It’s like trying to merge in and out of traffic that’s going 80 mph when you can only go 45 mph.  Having a guide to watch out for us and help with these things is a huge help, not just to us MI runners but all the other participants.  The guides wear official race bibs that say “GUIDE” on their front and their back, so the other runners coming up on us know that there is a slower runner ahead.

At 8:50am, and Richard and I are at the start line of the 2013 Boston Marathon, along with several other MI athletes, most of them with guides.  My dear friend and three-time guide, BethAnn Perkins, is with me, and Richard’s guides are Mike Lenhart, founder and director of the Getting2Tri Foundation, and Randy Spellman, the most experienced MI guide at Boston.  For many years, Randy had been one of the guides for Jason Pisano, who completed 52 marathons, including 15 Bostons, despite having cerebral palsy and being in a wheelchair.  Jason was able to be mobile by pushing himself backwards, in his racing chair, with only one foot.  For 26.2 miles.  Up hills.  Backwards.  With one foot.  I think that bears repeating: The entire 26.2 miles, he propelled himself backwards in a wheelchair while pushing himself with one foot.  His guides were there to make sure he didn’t veer over into anyone, especially on the downhills.  Tragically, Jason passed away last year on April 30th, just two weeks after completing the 2012 Boston Marathon.  He was a bright star and one of the greatest inspirations in my life.  Richard wanted Randy to be one of his Guides for this year’s Boston, as tribute to honor Jason.

You can imagine how emotional it was for us at the start line.  Remembering and honoring the life of our fellow athlete, Jason Pisano.  Celebrating that Richard was getting ready to run his first Boston Marathon, something he had wanted to do all his life as a runner.  Ironically, Richard was never quite able to qualify for Boston when he had two legs, but after having an amputation a few years ago, he was able to qualify with a prosthetic leg.  He was qualified and registered for Boston 2012, but had to have knee surgery in February of that year and was not healed in time for Boston.  So, now, here he was, after all the years of waiting.  His delightful wife, Jennifer, was going to be cheering for him along the course, and her son, daughter-in-law, and grandson were there as well. The weather was nearly perfect.  There were 26 seconds of silence before the start to honor every person who was killed in the Newtown shootings.  During the silence, I thought about what a senseless, horrible tragedy that was, innocent children killed, teachers died while trying to protect their students, all because of one mentally ill, misguided individual.  It seemed so awful and so senseless, yet honestly so distant from our focus that morning.
At 9:00am, we were on our way after a verbal 10-second countdown and start command from race director Dave McGillivray. 
People have asked me how my race went, up until the tragic bombings.  My answer is honestly “it was one of the best races I’d ever had.”  I felt great the whole way, struggling mostly just on the hills in the last half of the marathon, which I expected since I hadn’t done much hill training in Savannah.  However, I was able to power-walk those hills at a pretty good clip.  On the downhills and relatively flat stretches, I was able to keep a good running pace (for my abilities) and felt good, happy, and life was just grand.  BethAnn is an excellent guide and knows how to keep me motivated, and never lets me go out too fast in the first half.  She’s one of the best coaches and pacers you could ask for.  We were having fun.  It’s always so thrilling to run Boston, and much of that is due to the cheers from the crowds.  It’s always exciting when the elites run by us.  How many marathoners get that experience, to be one of the lead runners in the Boston Marathon for a few miles, then have the elites pass right by you?!?  Yep, it’s as cool as it sounds!
During the marathon, I kept thinking that part of why I was running so well was because I did not carry my phone, as I always do in training and in races, and the missing weight of an iPhone in an OtterBox cover was allowing me to run faster!  Hey, whatever works, right?  I’d decided to not carry my phone since BethAnn would carry hers, and I’d told Brian the night prior to the race that I’d call him after we finish and that it would be from her phone (a number unfamiliar to him), so to be sure to answer when I call.  At one point in the later miles, I was feeling so good for it being so late in the race, I remember distinctly thinking “not carrying my phone was one of the best decisions I ever made.”  Well, that would soon come back to haunt me; more on that later.
All was well until around mile 21, when I looked over to my left and saw Richard sitting on a bench alongside the course, with his guides.  “Oh no, BethAnn, there’s Richard!” I was worried because he is a faster runner than I am, and if he was on the pace he’d hoped for, he would have been finished or close to it by that time, not at mile 21, and not sitting on a bench.  All I could think of is how hard he’s trained, how many obstacles he had gone through to get there that day, and how excited he was to finally run the Boston Marathon.  I wanted everything to go perfectly for him.  I was veering over to go see what help he might need, but BethAnn told me to keep going and that she’d check on him and catch back up to me.  I argued, but she insisted, and I listened.  However, I slowed to a walk and kept looking over my shoulder to make sure he was ok.  I started to turn around and go back to him, but right then, BethAnn got back on the course, motioned for me to keep going, and soon caught up to me.  She said he was just making an adjustment on his prosthesis, and Mike & Randy were taking good care of him.  She said he was in good spirits and was going to get going again very shortly.  I told her how upset I was that he obviously wasn’t going to have the finish time that he’d trained for and planned, and she said “Kelly, there are only 5 miles to go.  You know he can walk it if he has to and he’ll still have plenty of time to finish.  You know he’ll finish.”  I knew she was right.  I knew Richard would crawl those 5 miles if he had to.  “Yeah, you’re right, I just wanted him to have the race he’d hoped for and that he’s capable of.”   I continued on, knowing he would finish. 

We kept up our pace, running more and walking less, for the most part.  There were the expected rough patches in the later miles, but nothing as bad as it usually is for me at that point in a marathon.  It was emotional for me when the iconic Citgo sign was in view, and we saw the “One Mile To Go” printed in large letters on the road, knowing how cool it would be for Richard to very soon see those things.  Crowds are cheering and music is playing.  Life was good.  We made it to the 40K timing mat in 5 hours and 43 minutes.  We knew it would be very, very close to make it to the finish in under 6 hours, but it was within possibility if I could pick up the pace a little.  We talked about it, and at that point, I predicted that we’d finish in 6:02 or 6:03.  I tried to run as much as I could without walk breaks, but had to walk for 30-60 seconds (ok, usually 60 seconds) every few minutes.  I remember thinking whether I finished in 5:59 or over 6 hours, it was all good.  To finish the Boston Marathon, for the 9th time, on a prosthetic leg… Richard soon to be crossing that finish line as well… it was all good.

We were approaching the Massachusetts Avenue overpass, where there is a dip in the road as the runners go under the overpass.  It’s one of the most anticipated spots on the course, because you know that as soon as you get out of the little tunnel underneath the overpass, you then have the legendary “right on Hereford, left on Boylston” which immediately gives you one of the most amazing and emotional sights you can imagine:  The Finish Line of The Boston Marathon.  Something you only dream about until you actually see it, and once you see it, there is no doubt that all the training, pain, everything was worth it.

Just about the time we were saying something about how close we were, with the overpass right in front of us, I noticed there were runners slowing down.  I remember thinking that was odd, since I didn’t recall the runners getting bottlenecked before going under that overpass.  Then I noticed the bobbing runners’ heads stop.  I was so confused and in a panicked tone said “BethAnn, they’re stopping.  BethAnn, why are they stopping?”  Of course, she didn’t have an answer.  Why in the world would all the runners be stopping in the Boston Marathon?  There were probably only 25-50 runners in front of us who were already stopped.  Suddenly the answer hit me like a ton of bricks.  There must be a runner who’s had a heart attack and is down, underneath the overpass, being revived or waiting for help to arrive.  That was absolutely the only possible explanation for why THE BOSTON MARATHON would be stopped.  It seriously did not occur to me that I wasn’t right.  It made sense, since the road under the overpass is closed in, like a tunnel, and there would be nowhere for the runners to go around a fallen runner at that spot.  That had to be it.  I remember having a flashing thought was that as long as the runner would be revived and live, I didn’t mind that my finish time was going to be longer than I’d thought.

I told BethAnn that it had to be a runner having a heart attack, and worried aloud that maybe he was dying.  I was so upset at the thought that someone was dying of a heart attack a few yards away from me, I started sobbing uncontrollably.  BethAnn started praying.  I know she knew at the time that it had to be something more than a runner fallen from a heart attack to stop the marathon, but since there was no better explanation at that point, she prayed for whomever it may be and that help would get to this person quickly.  We walked over to the curb and cried and prayed.  Within a few minutes, we overheard other runners and some spectators on their phones, saying something about an explosion at the finish line.  BethAnn and I looked at each other with great surprise and disbelief.  Could that really be true?  When we heard a couple of other people saying the same thing, we figured it was probably accurate.  I just assumed it was some sort of sewer line or electrical explosion that just created some debris at the finish area that they had to clean up before letting us continue on.  My exact thought was, and I said it out loud, “Oh thank God no one was having a heart attack.”

It was around 2:55pm when we were stopped, at the Massachusetts Ave overpass, which is approximately a half mile, maybe as much as 7/10 of a mile, from the finish line.  Beth Ann’s Garmin showed 25.8 miles, and I’ve read that several other runners’ GPS devices said the same thing.

An official spoke briefly a few times on a megaphone, but it was hard to hear.  We just heard something about a situation at the finish line and that they were trying to get it under control as soon as possible.  We were asked to stay were we were.  We heard ambulance and police sirens... lots and lots and lots of sirens.  And more sirens.  I remember almost constant sirens for nearly an hour, I think. Lots of police cars and motorcycles whizzing by on the road just beside the one we were on.

During the time we were held, some other runners and spectators who'd been at or near the finish line started walking back to where all the runners were stopped on the course.  There were thousands stopped behind us... over 5,600 runners were not allowed to finish.  Keep in mind I started at 9:00am since mobility impaired runners get an early start, and the other runners' start times were in waves from 9:30am to 10:40am.  We overheard, and sometimes directly asked what happened, and kept hearing things like “multiple fatalities” and "body parts everywhere." We still didn't believe it could be that awful and just assumed it was the media blowing things out of proportion.  It started to sink in somewhat only after hearing the same scenario described by about 50 different people.

At that point, we wanted to call our husbands to let them know we were ok.  Remember how I’d said I didn’t carry my phone that morning and had thought it as a great decision since I didn’t have a phone bouncing around in my pocket?  I had never wished more than at that hour that I’d carried my phone, because BethAnn tried to use hers and the battery had been completely drained.  Ugh.  We had no way to let them know we were ok.  In my naivety, I thought maybe we could get back to the hotel before this would even be on the news.  At that point, we just were not able to comprehend the gravity of what had happened.  We asked a few people with phones if we could borrow theirs, and most people said their battery was dead or that the cell towers were so jammed that calls weren’t going through.  One woman told us her battery was low but that we were welcome to use her phone to try to call our husbands.  I asked her “do you think this is on the news yet?” and she answered, “oh yes, this is all over the news.”  Her tone was full of compassion, which I now know was because she realized that I was just not able to grasp the situation.
We tried to call, but the calls would not go through.  I thought one of my attempted calls to Brian went through, but I heard nothing on the other end when I kept saying “Hello?  Hello?”  We soon learned that the secret in this situation is TEXTING. Texts go through much faster in that situation, so keep that in mind if you are ever in a widespread disaster. Text, don't call. Texts went through pretty normally. We finally found a woman, named Janet, who let us use her phone to text our husbands.  My text to Brian was “It’s Kelly from a kind stranger’s phone.  I’m ok and so is BethAnn.  Love you.”  He immediately texted back “Thank God. Everyone is calling.”  BethAnn was able to text her husband, Gary, as well.

While we were stuck there on the course, we finally realized it was bombings and that it was likely terrorist-related.  It was pretty terrifying knowing that we had no way of knowing if another bomb was going to go off where we were, or where our several good friends were farther back on the course.   At that point, we were pretty numb to the reality of the fatalities and injuries.  Throughout the whole ordeal, BethAnn was my rock.  She kept me calm, and made sure I was ok, made sure I stayed warm (I was never so happy to have worn my Mizuno Breath Thermo shirt), and had I needed water or food, she would have made sure I got it.  We stood for a while, sometimes on the road, sometimes in the grassy triangle beside the road, and we sat on the curb for a while.

We were held there until around 4:10pm at which time we were told by an official on a megaphone that the marathon was cancelled, and we were instructed to walk east along the Commonwealth Avenue mall (a park-like walkway to the north of the course) to our hotels or to Boston Commons.  This was parallel to Boylston Street and the finish line, just one block north.  Fortunately for us, our hotel was not far past the finish line, so we were headed in the direction that would get us to our hotel.  As we walked along, BethAnn held onto my arm and it was very comforting to have her with me; I could tell her priority was to make sure I was safe.  We talked about how awful this was, yet we still had no idea just how horrific it really was.  We talked about how disappointing it was for this to happen for Richard’s first Boston Marathon. 

Not long after we started walking to our hotel, volunteers came by on bikes with backpacks full of heat blankets, and that was the only time I saw runners acting rudely and selfishly.  I think I ended up getting one only because one of the volunteers saw that I was the only one who wasn’t selfishly grabbing and knocking people out of my way, so he handed one specifically to me.

Once we got back to our hotel, the news was on a TV in the lobby and lots of people, including runners who had finished wearing their medals, were intently watching.  We glanced over and it was too horrific to believe… reports of people dead and injuries so horrible I still could not absorb the reality.  We hurried up to our room.  BethAnn plugged her phone in the charger and I got mine out of my purse and called Brian.  We turned on the TV in our room, and as we saw and heard the details of the fatalities and injuries, BethAnn accurately commented that it seemed so surreal, so hard to comprehend that what we saw on the news just happened a few blocks from where we were sitting in our hotel room.  It seemed like a world away on TV.

I texted Richard and Jennifer to make sure they were ok and see where they were, but I didn’t get a response.  I finally went upstairs to their room and knocked at the door, and Richard answered.  Seeing him and knowing for sure he was ok was the first time I became emotional.  I hugged him so hard I was afraid I’d break a rib.  Soon Jennifer and her family got back to the room, and it was wonderful seeing that everyone was ok.  Randy was there too, and some of his friends showed up.  The support from everyone was amazing.  

I was incredibly touched to have more texts, voicemails, emails, and Facebook messages and posts than I’ve ever had in my life.  I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook, but it was a wonderful way to let hundreds of people know all at once that we were ok.  I returned texts and emails as quickly as I could that evening.  The outpouring of concern and love was wonderfully overwhelming.  Between texts and emails, I watched the news.  It was just too much to absorb.  Just too awful.  

Our early morning flights home the next morning went out as scheduled.  We were lucky that our hotel was just outside of the lockdown zone, so taxis were able to get to our hotel to pick us up.  Security at the airport was definitely tighter.  I’d describe the process as more deliberate and slow.  Of course I always get manually searched anyway due to my prosthesis, but everyone else seemed to get a more thorough screening than usual.  When BethAnn and I had to part ways at the airport to go to our separate flights home, it was very hard for me to leave her.  I’d felt safe with her, and I didn’t want to be alone so soon after what happened.  But, reality was that she and I both needed and wanted to get home, to Michigan and Savannah, respectively.

I was never happier in my life to return home.  Seeing Brian and my dogs was wonderful and comforting.  Brian told me that for 40 minutes he thought I may have been at the finish line in the bombings, because the phone call I’d made to him but didn’t hear him on the other end actually did go through, he heard me but I obviously couldn’t hear him.  After the phone went dead, he thought I’d called to let him know we finished and that the call simply dropped.  Only a couple of minutes after that brief call did he find out that something terrible had happened… he got a CNN text alert on his phone saying “Explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.”  Until he got the text from me 40 minutes later saying I was ok, he was trying not to think the worst.  During that time, he got many calls from frantic family and friends wanting to know if we were ok, and he didn’t know what to tell them.  I hate that he went through that worry, and I’m very appreciative to his brother, Steve, and our friend, Nicole Chamberlain, for helping him through that tough time of waiting to hear that I was indeed ok.

A local Savannah runner and friend, Tony Varney, organized a Boston Memorial run for that evening to honor those killed and injured in the bombings and to celebrate my safe return home.  I was exhausted in every sense of the word, but was so touched, there was no way I was going to miss being there.  I am glad I went; it was much-needed concern and support from my local running community and friends.

I returned to work the following day, Wednesday, only two days after the bombings.  My coworkers were amazingly welcoming and offered support and compassion.  I’ve never been so happy to be ok to return to work after taking time off!

In the following days and weeks, the reality of the deaths and injuries started to sink in.  The things I’ve had the most difficulties dealing with are the death of the eight-year-old little boy, Martin Richard, and the fact that there were so many people who lost one of both legs in the bombings.  As of this writing, 16 people lost one or both legs.  There may be more since some of the victims have leg injuries so severe, their limb might not be able to be saved.  The concept that I (and Richard and other amputees) run the Boston Marathon with one or both prosthetic legs, something so positive and inspirational, the same marathon where there were bombings that caused people to tragically lose their limbs, is just something I cannot process.   I qualify for the Boston Marathon only because I have lost a limb, and at that same event, people very traumatically lost their limbs.  I can’t find any words to describe the emotional torment this causes for me.  The sadness and grief has been intense.

I think my significant emotional struggle with this has been not only because I was there, not only because of the normal human compassion for the victims, but because I have the obvious connection with the bombing victims who became amputees.  It is just so wrong on so many levels. It used to be that when anyone used the phrase “the Boston Marathon amputees,” it was I and other runners with prosthetic limbs that they were talking about, and it was inspirational and positive.  Now that phrase means something entirely different, something tragic.

My other struggle in dealing with the aftermath of the bombings is due to the many runners who were not allowed to finish and were demanding in their requests to the B.A.A. that they get their medal, finish time, and a guaranteed spot for Boston 2014.  I’ve also found it insensitive for people to ask me if I finished and/or if I got a medal, in the case where I’d already explained that I was stopped about a half-mile from the finish line.  Do these people not understand there were people who died, people who lost limbs, and that the finish line and the course along Boylston Street was all a federal crime scene? 

My perspective is that a finish time, a medal, or anything concerning the race is petty in comparison to the horrific injuries and mental trauma to those who were injured or directly affected.  I continue to think of the first responders… just the photos I've seen will haunt me the rest of my life, I can't imagine seeing that in person and somehow still managing to help those who were injured.  The people who jumped in and helped the injured are absolute heroes.  I am just so happy and so blessed to have come home with my life and all the limbs that I went there with.  I would feel selfish to be concerned with my nine-year streak or finish time or a medal.  However, that being said, in addition to the deaths and grievous injuries, the experience of crossing the finish line was hijacked for over 5,600 runners.

The B.A.A. did decide to send medals (courtesy of FedEx), give us projected finish times (as long we had crossed at least the half-marathon timing mat), and a guaranteed spot for next year.  All of those things are very much appreciated, and the B.A.A. handled the communications very appropriately.  I am impressed with their strength in dealing with the tragedy and their patience with the impatient runners who were demanding things.  I cannot deny that getting the news from the B.A.A. that my projected finish time (6:02:42) would be considered “official” and they would allow it to be used for purposes of a streak was wonderful news for me.  It somehow made me feel that what we went through as runners that day was validated. 

I continue to pray for peace and healing for those injured.  I will reach out to those who lost limbs to offer support, when the time feels right, after some of their current support network may have moved on.  I have spoken with a counselor who is very compassionate and has given me solid guidance on working through my emotional difficulties from the bombings.  I also have a dear friend, Bradley Fenner, (a Darkside member) who had direct losses in 9/11 (his company had an office in one of the towers and lost one employee, as well as, obviously, their entire physical office), who gave me excellent advice:  Don't try to make sense of this, because it will never make sense to anyone who is sane, and don't try to find closure, because you never will.  Just know that it is a horrible situation that really sucks, it will get easier to deal with over time, but it will in some way haunt you the rest of your life. Once I accepted that, and stopped struggling to somehow understand how anyone could have done this intentionally, the emotions started getting a little less raw at times, although I still have very difficult times.  Sometimes I can talk about the Boston events without getting emotional, but often, it is still very difficult.

I don’t know how long it will take for the victims to heal enough to really move forward with their lives, but many of them have already started the process, and that gives me hope that they will eventually be ok.  I don’t know how long it will take for me to feel less of the heartbreaking grief that I still experience.  I know that things will eventually get better.  I will return to Boston in 2014 and run my 10th consecutive Boston Marathon.  My friend Richard will also return and experience his first time crossing the Boston Marathon finish line.  Completing the Boston Marathon will not give either of us closure from this year’s tragedy, but it will give us hope that things can once again be a celebration of the human spirit.  Hope.  No one can take that away.

No comments:

Post a Comment