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My daughter-in-law inspires me



My daughter-in-law Jennifer writes beautifully – she has been able to clearly articulate what she was feeling on April 15, 2013 when she heard about the bomb at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, and how her feelings and emotions have changed since then. Her writing has helped her to move forward – to realize the positives in people - and to continue her journey to that finish line. Jennifer is my inspiration –I will put my fears aside and be there as she crosses that finish line on April 21, 2014.
Last April, as Jennifer was running in her first Marathon – the one she had always been in awe of and wanted to be a part of - we were standing in front of the Mandarin Hotel on Boylston Street waiting to see her finish. The Mandarin Hotel is directly across the street from where the second bomb went off. We were on the “right” side of Boylston Street. I could go on about why were on that side of Boylston Street and not the other – but let it suffice to say we followed a seasoned Marathon watcher and stood where she told us to.
Since we were tracking Jennifer’s progress, when the bombs went off we knew immediately that she was far enough from the Finish Line that she was not injured, and although shaken and frightened My husband Bud and I were not harmed. Our son Scott, who had chosen to leave us to go to the Men’s Room about ten minutes before the bombs went off, was also safe – although because of the chaos that ensued in the aftermath of the bombings we were unable to immediately locate him.
We made our way through the Mandarin and through the Prudential Center – and stopped. Bud and I were standing at the top of the escalator trying to decide what to do next when we looked down and saw Scott. That was the first of my “moments” that day. There were hundreds of thousands of people attempting to get out of harm’s way – and there was Scott, exactly where we were. Was “someone” looking out for us – how did that happen? We will never know – but once that happened I knew that we would ALL be okay – that everything would somehow work out.
Scott was distraught – while we all knew intellectually that Jennifer was far enough away to be safe from injury – we had no way of finding her and no way of letting her know we were all fine. Scott led us through the streets of Boston, back to the meeting place we had pre-planned to meet after the Marathon. As we walked we stopped and asked anyone we could “where are the runners who had not finished” and no one was able to help us.
Once back at the meeting place Scott finally received a phone call from Jennifer – she was in Kenmore Square. Scott and Bud immediately left to go meet her there - they were in such a hurry that they left me holding the bag with all of Jennifer’s warm clothes. I waited for Krista (my sister-in-law) and Alex (my 8 year old nephew) to arrive at the meeting place. While my original plan was to wait there for Scott and Jennifer and Bud to return we were told that the building was being evacuated and we needed to leave.
Krista, Alex and I began to walk to the hotel where my brother Andrew was waiting for us. The sirens were loud and non-stop. Large buses drove past us, filled with uniformed and armed patrols. It was a several mile walk to the hotel, and although we ultimately found a taxi we walked for quite a while first. The chaos in the streets – was and still is haunting to me. The loud sirens – I still hear them.
We were on a mission – get to the Renaissance Hotel. At the time, I did not think about anything else – that was our new meeting place – we would get there. Andrew was there and he would make it all better – and while he did not make it all better – he did make it bearable. We all had a place to sleep that night – with no public transportation running and our car out in Foxboro, Bud and I were stuck in Boston.
Finally, after a long wait, Bud and Scott and Jennifer made it back to the hotel. I was so happy to see them all – we cried and hugged and then cried and hugged some more. We tried to eat – we drank some wine and because we had an eight year old with us we watched very little television.
It was a fitful night’s sleep – but by morning reality had sunk in. We saw the picture on the front of the USA Today that was delivered to the hotel room – I truly realized at that moment how lucky we really were.
The time has passed – it is now eight and half months since the Marathon. I am still haunted by sirens and metal stanchions. But it has gotten better…and while it will never go away, and I will never forget, I know that it will continue to get better.
I am so proud of Jennifer – of her ability to keep going – as she says to lace up her running shoes and keep running- even when it hurts mentally and when it hurts physically.

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