Hatton House Diaries

One day, we decided to buy a 125 year old Victorian House in Des Moines, Iowa…….

Boston April 16, 2013

Filed under: Everything Else — hattonhousedsm @ 6:58 pm

Last night, I sat next to my husband, watching news from the Boston Marathon, and I turned to him and said “I think we should have kids.” To which he responded, “OK, but maybe we should wait a few months and make sure you still feel that way.” And we smiled.

I’m a marathon runner, with three finishes, my fastest time barely making my goal of “starts with a 4” at 4:59:58. And while I was born and raised in the New York metro, my parents and sister have all relocated to the Boston metro. My sister has been known to go watch the marathon, so yesterday felt too much like 9/11 for me, only combined with the added sorrow of knowing what it takes to complete one marathon, let alone run one to qualify for Boston, then train again to run “the” Boston Marathon.

When I ran the Marine Corps marathon in October of 2001, it went by the bombed out Pentagon four times. I was pretty focused on my training, and had trained to run a 4:30 pace. But as I ran past that building, past all those Marines, all those families, I couldn’t keep my focus. My college roommate ran a few blocks with me at mile 14 or 15 and she was ecstatic for me, because I was still on 4:30 pace, but at that moment I knew I couldn’t do it. I didn’t want to race through this day. I wanted to savor it, to honor the race by loving it, not trying to beat it. So I dialed it back, and started to just run for pleasure. And this is what I learned: the slower I ran, the more fun people around me were having. There were costumes, and funny stories, and just more general antics. I don’t remember anything but the Pentagon from the first 15 miles, but I remember so much from the last ten miles, I will never regret my 5:29 finish.

That’s what hurts more today. The people at that 4+ hour pace are my people. They run for fun, they run for charity, they run for all the days they didn’t think they could run a marathon, and for the lifetime of saying that they did. It breaks my heart, the families that were made to suffer yesterday, the runners in the back of the pack that never got to finish, or got to finish, but won’t get their day in the sun as Boston Marathon finishers.

All I could do last night is think about 9/11, and how I got through that day and the weeks that followed. I remember sitting with my husband, in the seventh year of our marriage, and having that life-altering conversation: “I think we should have kids.” I’d been pretty much against having kids until then, but my take away from a day spent frantically searching for friends and loved ones from my island in Des Moines was that we might not have kids that would cure cancer or bring on world peace, but I was pretty sure we could raise good people, and maybe the world could use a few more good people.

My wish is that we all find the silver lining in this tragedy. I’m not asking you to go reverse your thinking on childbearing, although I think my two kids, age 5-3/4 and 10-1/2 are decent arguments for parenthood. Maybe volunteer in your community with at risk kids, or spend more time with friends (no, Facebook chat does not count). Or you could send something to Boston Children’s Hospital from their wish list.  Or go running with friends (there’s a local run in honor of Boston getting organized, with info here). At any rate, I just wanted to say, Boston, we’ve had our differences, but we are with you today.


3 Responses to “Boston”

  1. […] that horrible day, and posted it to the blog I write about my house. I hope you’ll read it, (posted here) and that it brings you […]

  2. Jen Says:

    Thank you so much for your post. I am in the Boston area 2.4 miles away in Somerville. I have had many roommates who are runners and have run in such races. Throughout the years I have met many runners who have come here from all over the country and the world to participate in the Boston marathon. It has always been a joyous event with the communities opening their doors and arms wide in welcoming the visitors to the area for the event. It is incredibly sad and deeply disturbing that such an event could be marred in such a way. I send out my blessings to all the individuals and families who were injured during this tragedy. Thank goodness for our many first responders, doctors, nurses and hospital staff members who came without the call to their hospitals to provide the help that was needed.

    • You’re so welcome. I grew up in northern New Jersey, so I was never a big Boston fan. But my sister went to Tufts and settled in the metro, and then my parents moved to Belmont, so I’ve been forced into tolerance that borders on enjoyment I’m not quite ready to admit, but, as one of my Boston friends says in full-on accent, “irregardless and none the less,” you can’t help but feel for the people of Boston this week. And of course, every marathon runner holds a certain reverence for the Boston Marathon. I have no doubts the city will be stronger for this event, and it will be bigger and better next year. I’m still not going to try to qualify, but I might come work a water station!

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