Monday, April 15, 2013

Boston

Boston,
A city I love,
was the scene of horrific tragedy today.

Boston,
a place where
my family roots run deep.

In 1676.
that is 337 years ago,
my ancestors came to Marblehead, Massachusetts.
The first ancestors in my family to live in this part of America over three hundred years ago. 
They walked the streets of Boston.
They were born, married, and died in places like Cambridge, Salem, and Boston.

Now,
the Boston area is where 
my youngest son, his wife, and my youngest grandson live.
Now,
my nephew, his wife, his daughter, and his son live in this area.
Everyday, my son, my nephew, my daughter-in-law 
travel by train into or through the city to go to work.

My nephew, an architect,  just designed the newly constructed
  Liberty Mutual Bridge in downtown Boston.
He was three blocks from the explosion when it happened.

I find it hard to wrap my head around what happened today.

Whenever I have the chance to visit Boston,
I begin to think it truly is the 
Hub of the Universe
 just as Oliver Wendell Holmes once said it was.
I love everything about the city.
I love the parks,
the historical landmarks,
Dunkin Donuts,
Fenway Park,
The Boston Red Sox,
the crowds,
the people,
Harvard,
the museums,
the art galleries,
the food.

If my grandson is with me, to guide the way, I can navigate the subway system.
I can find landmarks.
I know the train to take to my favorite places.
I know the train to take to get back to my son's home.

I have my favorite places, the ones I must always visit.
I have my favorite restaurants, delis, and bakeries.

I have so many happy memories of the times I have spent in this city visiting my son.
Duck Tour
Boston 2006

I finally made it to Boston in 2006 when my son Jonathan began work on his M.A. at 
Boston College.
Jon & Atticus
Boston College, 2006

At the same time, his wife Samantha was given a full ride to work on her PhD at 
Northeastern University.
Dr. Samantha Christiansen
Northeastern University,
Boston 2011
Whenever I am in Boston, I try to connect with my nephew and his family.
Mini Family Reunion
Quincy, MA
2008
Mini Family Reunion
Quincy, MA
2011
I am so proud of the the educational and professional achievements these young people have had while they have spent time in Boston.
I am grateful for the educational institutions that have educated my son, his wife, 
and my nephew and his wife.
This city,
the city of Boston,
has been good to them.

It truly seems impossible to believe that we are seeing and hearing of such horrific tragedy in this great city.

Those who run the Boston Marathon, 
are premier athletes.

We have many runners in our family.
I know of the determination, the courage, the training, and preparation that is required to run a marathon.
To think that dedicated, courageous runners were maimed today is heartbreaking.
My heart goes out to those innocent bystanders who were killed today, or suffered life changing injuries.
My prayers are with the family who lost an eight year old child.
My prayers are with all those who are in a state of shock because suddenly their lives were turned upside down.

Today, when I first heard the news of what had happened in Boston,
my first thought was of my family.
Were they all ok?
I was nearly sick with worry.
I then thought of the chaos that those involved would confront physically and emotionally.
Immediately, the words of Psalms 46: 1-2
came to mind.

God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved to the heart of the sea,

It is my prayer that those in distress will be comforted,
given courage and healing,
and that this act will not stop us all from joining each other in celebrating 
life,
liberty,
and the pursuit of happiness
in the public square.

I hope we can continue to celebrate all that this great city has to offer and do so in a manner that reflects the beliefs and values of those early Americans who established this city and the surrounding towns in the hope that their children and all those born in the generations to come would have a place of 
freedom,
opportunity, 
and safety.


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