Monday, April 15, 2013

Dear Boston Marathon Supporters (a letter to you from the mother within me)

If the Boston Marathon means anything to you at all, I am writing this for you. Even if you only watched the race from your smart phone, computer, tablet, or television, please read this note. Even if you will never qualify for Boston, or don't even know what I mean when I say "qualify" this is for you. If you were there, whether miles away or right at the finish line, this is especially for you.

Dear Boston Marathon Supporters,

You did not deserve this. In an instant you were robbed of your joy. Without warning, you became victim and witness to something no one should experience. I hope you are now in a place where there is some comfort and some solace.

You don't have to be strong right now. You don't have to decide that you are going to show the attacker(s) you aren't afraid by running a race every other weekend as proof that they didn't scare you. There's no shame in crying and obsessing and making a list of everyone you know who might have been out there and checking on them to see if they're ok. You are allowed to be relieved and happy for awhile, in spite of this tragedy, upon discovering that your friends and loved ones are safe. You are allowed to feel angry, betrayed, ripped off, and hurt- even while others are less fortunate than you right now. All of these things still hold true even if you don't personally know anyone who was in Boston on this horrific day. I am so sorry this ruined your spirit and excitement. I am so sorry this happened to you.

It's ok if you are wishing you could do something to help, but you aren't sure what you can do. It's ok if you are doing nothing to help right now. If you need time to process this, take it. You don't have to be a tough guy or a hero right this second.

Tell someone how this is making you feel. Talk to someone/e-mail someone/text someone, or tweet or facebook rant. Whatever you need to do. Get it out in the open. You do not have to mourn or suffer alone.

Set down and take the time you need for sadness, fear and anger, but do not let any of these own you. Set down and acknowledge the presence of these emotions and allow them into your world for awhile, but make a promise. In the name of those who were lost, all who were injured, all who were eyewitnesses, and all who ran their hearts out and were brought to a screeching halt, promise that you will rise and run and continue to believe in this sport. Promise that you will someday soon stand at a finish line and cheer for friends and complete strangers in the wholehearted way that only runners understand.

It's ok if you're down right now, just make sure you never ever count yourself out of the sport you love the most because of one horrifying act.

I love standing at the finish line waiting for you just as much as I love crossing the finish line myself. So no matter which side of the line you and I are on, I hope to see you very soon.

With love and hope,
Tina


*****

Check out our race:
The 2013 Spring Celebration Virtual Marathon (26.2, 13.1, 10K, 5K)




5 comments:

  1. Thank you for this. I've been on the verge of tears all day but haven't cried yet b/c I felt stupid. The people I knew who were at Boston were not close, personal friends, but online friends. I still felt so relieved when they were all safe. I've also felt so shaky b/c today I started my official marathon training and I was born in Lowell (near Boston). I'll never qualify for Boston, but I still feel as if...well, I don't know how I feel completely except that I'm scared, doubting myself. If all those real marathoners, those who trained so hard to qualify, can have this happen, why should I even bother? I just want to curl up and cry for all those who were hurt today. I probably will before the night's over and I'm glad someone says it's okay even if most others have told me there's no reason for it.

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  2. Tasha, I am so sorry.

    I know that sounds (reads) kind of funny but all day today whenever someone has expressed sadness over this I just want to give them a hug and say "I'm so sorry this happened."

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  3. this is such a great piece. thanks for writing what so many are feeling but can't articulate.

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