A letter of love (Not to be confused with a love letter).
To the two idiots who shall remain nameless (because really, that’s all you deserve to be called),
On a beautiful day just over a year ago you committed a senseless, malicious attack on an event, on a community, and on a city. You thought that you would scare us. You thought that you would lead us to live in fear. And you thought that you would make us stop running. And just over a year ago, I almost believed you.
That is until this past week. Until I spent so many of the last seven days on our beloved Boylston Street where you can’t blink without seeing the colors blue and yellow, or the words “Boston Strong”. Where every store window had a sign wishing runners good luck. A street that a year ago was covered in blood and twisted metal has now been blanketed in flowers, in prayers, and in notes of love and courage.
I saw how wrong you were as I lined up with 9,999 other runners for the B.A.A. 5K, where I got lost in a sea of blue and yellow. I saw it outside of the Old South Church where I stood watching masses of runners lower their heads to be wrapped in scarves of love and courage. I saw it on Marathon Day as I again awoke to another clear, beautiful day. I saw it as I stood pressed up against an orange barricade waiting for one of my familiar faces to come into my line of vision so I could jump up and down screaming for them. I watched the expression on runners face as they found their family, their friends, or even heard a complete stranger yell their name. I watched as they trotted away, their feet a little quicker and their heads a little higher.
I saw how wrong you were as I waited in the family meeting area, a place where a year ago I stood trying to catch my breath and stop my panicked tears. This year I watched families scan the crowds holding bouquets of flowers in their hands, and proud smiles on their faces. I watched husbands, wives, boyfriends and girlfriends reuite. I watched children covered in ice cream and dirt, holding bent signs that said “Go mom go!” patiently waiting well beyond their naptime. I stood there and waited for my own runner and this time instead of being swept over with relief I was swept over with pride and happiness. The love I saw throughout that street smelled like sweaty feet and salty faces. It was absolutely beautiful.
You thought that you could destroy us but in the end, you only made us stronger. You made us prouder. You made us work a little harder and celebrate a little louder. You didn’t win. Boston won. Runners won. Love won.
Love always wins.