Like many other people, the Boston Marathon holds a sacred place in my memory. Although a Pittsburgh resident now, I grew up in the northern suburbs of Boston. When I was a kid, my dad used to take me down to the city for Marathon Monday. We would sit on the sidewalk near the finishing line of the race, munching on jelly-filled donuts from DD’s and watching the elite runners stream past. My father would regale me with stories of African runners who trained for the Boston Marathon during his childhood in Tanzania. When my father passed away suddenly five years ago, our trips to the Boston Marathon represented some of the happiest memories I had of him.
When I was older, I attended Boston University for my undergraduate degree in English. Marathon Monday became the much-anticipated social event of the year. There were no classes on that day and we started partying well before noon. Despite the rumors to the contrary, I have always thought of Boston as an incredibly welcoming city and Marathon Monday always proved me right. Every door was open. We celebrated with complete strangers, attending house parties everywhere from the elegant brownstones of the Back Bay to the fraternity houses in the Allston/Brighton area. Some of my fondest memories of college involve this magical day.
Boston is a city that gets under your skin. Its beauty is overwhelming–the ocean, the Public Gardens, the cobble-stoned streets lined by historical buildings, the views of the Charles River on the Esplanade. And for those who come to Boston to attend college, it is a special place indeed. People from everywhere in our vast world (including me!) come to Boston to become adults–to cut the umbilical cord and discover their own sense of identity. It is a city that charms all that are lucky enough to have ever called it home.
This morning my kids woke up and thankfully didn’t have a clue about yesterday’s tragedy. It was business-as-usual for them. Yogurt and granola for breakfast, fierce sibling rivalry about toothbrushes, and lots of “I’ll do it myself!” But I just felt hollow inside. Although I live in the Steel City now, a piece of my heart will always be in Beantown. I love you, Boston, and mourn what happened yesterday more than you will ever know.© Copyright Nadine Champsi, All rights Reserved. Written For: The Pittsburgh Mommy Blog
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