Gratitude & Love: A Personal Reflection on Yesterday’s Events

This was the one photo I snapped during yesterday’s Boston Marathon.

It’s one of my favorite days in the city, a day that makes me proud to be a Bostonian, a day that makes me contemplate to run a Marathon one day myself. And for the past 4 years, I have gathered with friends and loved ones to watch at my go-to spot: the Finish Line. This year was extra-special as one of my friends was running her very first 26.2.

The Finish Line is a place you see strength, love, dedication, power, and victory. A place where families and loved ones come together to celebrate. A place where runners have their moment. A place where I always find myself tearing up seeing the faces of pure accomplishment.

Unfortunately, yesterday’s tears were tears of sadness, not joy; hugs of fear not celebration. As you can see in the above photo, I was right at mile 26 when the first bomb went off. Like most, I was startled at first but thought it may be a cannon or a celebratory gun shot. When the second bomb went off less than a block from where I was standing, I knew I had to get out…fast. I just had a terrible feeling take over me…I knew it wasn’t good. What if we’re next?

As I stood there shaking in complete shock, I completely lost it. As those around me were screaming, running or consoling loved ones, I tried to make a phone call to my parents and boyfriend. I truly thought that was it for me, a feeling I just can’t describe. I turned around and realized that I had lost my two friends who were with me. Officers kept telling us to get as far away as we could, urging us to get off the streets, and so I ran. I ran for my life…all the way home to my Cambridge apartment…in flip-flops.

When I got home, I prayed. I thanked God that I was alive, that I was now safe. And I prayed for those who weren’t as lucky. While I am still pretty shaken up, as you can imagine, I am feeling an unbelievable sense of gratitude and love.

I feel gratitude for:

-The fact that my two good friends were there with me during the aftermath

-Making it out of there alive

-That all of my friends and loved ones in the area are safe & sound

-That I was able to contact my boyfriend about an hour later, knowing he too was safe

-For the moment I was finally connected with my parents and sister, who were extremely worried for me

-Standing right where I was, instead of seeking a closer view

-Everything I have…life is certainly precious

I feel Love for:

-All of those who don’t feel safe

-Those who were injured & killed

-Those separated from their families

-Brave spectators who rushed toward the explosions in order to treat victims (some even removed clothing or ran straight to donate blood)

-The runners who ran, finished and weren’t able to finish

-Our country

-The city of Boston. My city.

I am forever grateful. Much love & prayers go out to those who weren’t as lucky as me…

13 Responses to “Gratitude & Love: A Personal Reflection on Yesterday’s Events”

  1. marissa Says:

    I am grateful for your safety, and grateful for whatever lessons were learned by so many. Love grows deeper and stronger with these things, however awful the actual experience is. Letting love grow from tragedy can be tough, almost impossible sometimes. You are an inspiration and clearly know how to let love grow. The loss and negative impact may be overwhelming to us right now (expecially you Bostonians), but as we’ve seen so many times, there’s light and life all around us and we just need to let it in and let it guide us to better and brighter places.Thank you for sharing your experience, and thank you for choosing a safe spot to watch, and thank you for being such an inspiring Healthy Chick!

  2. Jess Says:

    Wow — that is EXACTLY where I stood last year while watching the marathon…and my exact thoughts yesterday while watching this scene unfold yesterday online and my heart just dropped, I felt sick to my stomach and afraid for everyone around me. I cannot even FATHOM what it was like being there and so close to where it all went down. I am SO SO SO thankful you are safe and sound and that your loved ones are too. I still cannot begin to understand all that happened yesterday, and I’m not sure that I want to 🙁

  3. Danielle Says:

    So happy to hear you are okay. It was such a scary day yesterday and to think a day that so many cherish became so tragic in an instant. All we can do now is spread love.

  4. Rachel @Healthy Chicks Says:

    @Marissa I agree with everything you said, thanks for sending love <3

  5. Rachel @Healthy Chicks Says:

    @Jess So scary, huh? It’s just inexplainable. I keep replaying it all in my mind…just makes me feel so sick. Staying strong & praying for those directly affected however!

  6. Rachel @Healthy Chicks Says:

    @Danielle Thanks, love! I totally agree…spreading the love all day long xo xo

  7. Caitlin Says:

    a post full of love that will overcome the fear, just as i would expect from you, my dear. i am so happy you are safe & thank you for sharing that fact on FB yesterday b/c i was worried about you. you were so close to the tragedy and i know you remain close mentally. keep your heart full of love – i’m sending it to you!

  8. Rachel @ painfreekitchen Says:

    So happy to hear you and your loved ones are safe. I can’t even imagine.

  9. Rachel @Healthy Chicks Says:

    @Caitlin Thank you for thinking of me Caitlin…I know it was a scary time for everyone wondering if their loved ones and friends were safe. Much love to you my friend <3

  10. Rachel @Healthy Chicks Says:

    @Rachel Thank you! It was quite tragic and I’m still processing it all but I am forever grateful. Prayers to those who are suffering…

  11. jobo Says:

    Wow. I am so glad you are safe, and your family, and your friend running. So so sad and awful. What an experience and I am sure it will take awhile to move past and sort through feelings. XOXO.

  12. Rachel @ Healthy Chicks Says:

    @jobo xo xo Same, I just keep reminding myself over & over again how grateful I am.

  13. Healthy Chicks» Blog Archive » Just What I Needed: In Finding Love Says:

    […] be honest with you, I’m still feeling a bit off in coping with Monday’s events, and have been having a hard time writing let alone feeling myself. I just keep replaying the day […]

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 16th, 2013 at 11:08 am and is filed under Health & Wellness, Lifestyle. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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