Boston Marathon Explosions

Boston Marathon 2013

watching the marathoners run by from our spot in Coolidge Corner

I’m safe.  First and foremost, you should all know that.

Two bombs detonated at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.  The current count is two dead and over one hundred injured, though I expect those numbers to rise as the night progresses. One of those killed was an eight-year-old kid.

When the bombs went off, I was in Beth Israel hospital visiting my Grandma Dot, who’s being hospitalized for a compression fracture in her back.

God–I was watching my Grandma wince in pain as they were fitting her to a back brace while simultaneously watching the video of the bombs exploding over and over on the news.

Before continuing with my account of the event, I should interject that I’m viewing this as a person who has just gotten back from living outside of the United States for two years.  I came home almost three weeks ago after finishing my Peace Corps service in Nicaragua.

Coming home has its challenges. In the span of just a couple weeks, I packed up my life and said goodbye to Nicaragua, to my friends, and to my boyfriend.

You could say I’m in withdrawal; the smallest provocation makes me feel incredibly sad. For instance, yesterday I was driving from DC to Boston and the Calle 13 song “Latinoamerica” came on and I don’t know–something about it–the poignant imagery, perhaps, made me almost smell Nicaragua and next thing I know I’m crossing the Tappan Zee Bridge in tears, inconsolable, even if I were with someone that could have consoled me.

I say all of this because this afternoon I went to go see the Boston Marathon near where my sister lives by Coolidge Corner in Brookline, about two miles from the finish line. I kept thinking about how incredibly impressive these runners are, and how this marathon was exhibiting such human triumph.  I could hardly stand being there for fear of crying in front of others, so I left and I went to go visit my grandma in the hospital in Boston.

When I found out what had happened, I just kept thinking about all those runners that I had seen; how I had been admiring them just a short time earlier, and how I didn’t know if some of them were now injured, or without limbs, or if their families waiting for them at the finish line were okay, and how awful this day had become.

I wanted to go back to Nicaragua so badly.  I started crying. This is not a good welcome home to the United States. The reality of transitioning to life in the States has enough challenges without confronting terrorism and violence in my own city.

How horrible. How unforgivable. How feo.

I hope that no more people die and that those who are injured recover.  I hope that this age of terrorism and nonsensical violence that we’re in ends now. And lastly, I hope that the Boston Marathon will continue to be a symbol of competition and athleticism rather than of violence and sorrow and terrorism.

A todos mis amigos en Nicaragua: quiero que sepan que mi family y yo estamos bien.

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4 Responses to Boston Marathon Explosions

  1. Carli says:

    I’m so happy you’re safe. I have a friend who was by the finish line and she’s pretty shaken up; another friend was running the race and was at mile 21 when it happened. I aspire to run the Boston Marathon one day and I know that good always overcomes evil and I hope that some day soon we can all run a race in peace again.

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  2. alinmtns says:

    Im glad you were out of harms way. I came back to the states three days before the Newtown shooting. Its horrible to be greeted with such violence that after such long waited and anticipated returns. Thinking of you.

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  3. Gloria Goldman says:

    Dear Lauren, As usual, your recounting of your return to the USA and your poignant description of the marathon disaster are very moving..Let’s hope that this violence is silenced and life can resume in peace for everyone. I love you for your compassion for others and I love you because you are so special. Grandma

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  4. Shannon says:

    Amen to this terrorism ending now. Lauren, I’m glad you’re safe, and thank you for sharing the tangled emotions of your return to the US. I’ve had a few encounters with “reverse culture shock” and it’s challenging, even without this kind of incomprehensible tragedy.

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