B for Boston

We’re on a mini road trip. Suddenly having the B for Boston on the car feels different, even though we haven’t traveled far from home.  Yesterday afternoon I had to send this email to our extended family in other parts of the country:

The news just keeps getting worse, but want you all to know that we are fine. We did not go in to the city today. My work friend who ran today finished the race before 12:30 and he and his family are fine.  So awful to think about those who are not.

Sent from my iPhone

And we are still fine. We hadn’t picked this year to experience Copley Square on Marathon Day. The girls are curious about what happened, and appropriately saddened, but it is not personal to them.  After losing a beloved teacher to a fatal accident last year (a DUI), they have what I can only feel is a healthy detachment from the violence we’ve all been subjected to this year, from Sandy Hook to yesterday’s horrific event at the Marathon.  I am the one who is upset and shaken — and of course I have kept them from seeing any media coverage, so it is much more abstract to them than it is to me. I think they feel safe, and I hope that’s what’s going on.  I hope it’s not that they have just seen so many unthinkably bad things happen, they are inured.

We’re so incredibly lucky. Again. One of the people who died yesterday lived in Arlington; she had grown up in Medford and moved to town recently. There are many friends of friends, from the Harvard community and elsewhere, who have been personally affected by grave loss or serious injury. I keep hearing stories from people who spent terrible hours trying to locate loved ones. But we are fine, and those we hold dear are fine.

It’s April school vacation week, and we usually “celebrate” Patriots Day with some history sightseeing — re-enactments of the battles at Lexington and Concord (and in Arlington), Paul Revere’s ride, or parades. Where we live, this is really the big holiday for commemorating the ideals and heroes of the American Revolution. It’s the day that honors heroic extraordinary actions of ordinary people.  Good holiday.6bbc276a881211e18bb812313804a181_7

This year we had a mini (2-day) road trip planned.  Decided to stick with the plan, so we headed out in the B Bus this morning, to central Massachusetts where we arrived at Old Sturbridge Village in time for lunch and a peaceful afternoon taking in the scenery and activities in a working rural New England village of the 1830s.

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Sheep, and baby lambs. Stepping back in time to a “simpler” age was lovely.

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But even here in the faux 1830’s, we were not completely transported away from the shock and grief. The girls noticed right away that as a 21st-century museum, the village’s flag was at half mast.  For Boston, and for all of us.  A simple symbol.  Powerful reminder there is more good than evil in our world, whatever the century.

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– PHB

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7 thoughts on “B for Boston

  1. How well I remember your phone call which waked us on 9-11-01, just back from honeymoon on
    Hanlei Bay; and how deeply distressing once again to have Boston figure prominently in enormous tragedy. So very glad you three are on holiday, learning and remembering the unique
    heritage we enjoy thanks to our early patriots. Stay well and safe; hope to see you soon.
    Much love,
    Dad/Grandaddy

  2. Thanks. A beautiful post. Thinking of you and yours and all of Boston. Hard times. Those of us at Virginia Tech marked the six year anniversary on Tuesday. As we ran and placed flowers and let balloons fly, we had you all close to our hearts as well. There IS more good than evil. We can do hard things. Sending love, peace, comfort, strength…

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