Monday, April 15, 2013


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

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.

the Boston area is where 
my youngest son, his wife, and my youngest grandson live.
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,
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
Mini Family Reunion
Quincy, MA
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 
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 
and safety.


Kathleen McCoy said...

It's such a tragedy, Sally. And it must be especially hard for you as the news unfolds along with the proximity of loved ones to the violence and your family's long history with this beautiful city. I share your hope that generations to come will not know these horrors -- and that your loved ones, in the meantime, will be safe. Our prayers are with the victims and their families.

#1Nana said...

It was a horrid event. Why do we continue to treat each other this way? When will we wake up and try to live a peaceful coexistence? My brain can't wrap around the violence.

Perpetua said...

We too are shocked and saddened over here across the Atlantic, Sally, and our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected. A very moving post, which brings home the effect of this atrocity on so many families.

Rose said...

Beautifully said, Sally. My son ran marathons for several years and always wanted to run in the Boston Marathon. It is unfathomable to me how someone could turn what should have been such a proud moment of achievement into such a horrific tragedy. I've never been to Boston and have no connections to the city as you do. But today we all share a heartfelt connection to this city.

Jeanie said...

Oh, Sally, you must have been terribly worried. I was worried for friends there, but family -- oh, my. Boston is my favorite city -- I've always loved every spot I've visited, every person I met. This is the neighborhood I stay whenever I visit. It just hurts me to think of the families, of this beautiful town -- all suffering.

Beautifully written, Sally.

Olga said...


Jeanie said...

Beautifully written, Sally. I can only say amen to your prayer.

rosaria williams said...

What a horrific tragedy! Yes, it touches us all, especially those with family ties to the city.

Kay said...

This was a beautiful post, Sally. I haven't been able to process this tragedy yet. Boston is one of our favorite cities too and we've been there several times. I have friends who used to run that marathon. It feels just awful to have this evil come into our country.

thisisme said...

Hi Sally. A beautifully written post about a city that obviously holds a very special place in your heart. All of us in the United Kingdom send our heartfelt condolences and prayers to all who were affected by yet another tragedy. I loved the words you quoted from the Psalm. We must hold on to all the kindness and goodness in this life. Otherwise, evil will prevail. Blessings to you my friend.

Chatty Crone said...

Oh Sally - I am with every word you said - I just cannot fathom how someone can do something so horrific. I pray for all involved. sandie

LC said...

Well-written, poignant and helpful for all far from harm but struggling to pray and understand. Thank you.

Linda Myers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linda Myers said...

Our daughter ran in the marathon yesterday. Soon after I heard about the bombings we got a text from her husband telling us they were fine. Later in the afternoon I called her and listened to her talk. About how, right after she finished her run, she and her husband were separated, on either sides of the explosion, then reconnected. In their hotel room, they looked down on the medical tents. She talked about the euphoria of finishing the run followed so close after by the chaos and the disbelief. I was glad to be able to listen to her.

Betsy Adams said...

Beautifully written, Sally. This horrible act of terrorism just breaks my heart.. My prayers go out for the folks in Boston who were impacted by this tragedy. Boston IS a beautiful city --and the people there will join together and get through this --and come out even stronger...

God Bless all of them.

DJan said...

I wish we were close enough to have a warm hug and share our tears with each other over this tragedy. I too am so sad inside and found myself tearing up over anything at all. This was a beautiful post to read, part of the healing process we must all go through as we deal with tragedies visited upon the innocent.

Maggie May said...

Such a malicious act and I do hope that the culprits will eventually get caught. What kind of vile person would do such a thing to runners & their families, who were most likely raising money for charity?
It is heartening to see that there was such a helping attitude by so many people who didn't seem to care about their own safety while they helped others.
I am relieved to hear that your family is safe.
Boston sounds such a lovely place and it was very interesting to read about your ancestral roots.
I always find Psalm 46 so comforting and I've learned those verses by heart.
Maggie x

Nuts in May

Grandmother said...

I feel a kinship with you in this since Boston is my hometown. I'm glad your family is okay. The marathon is one of the great celebrations that Boston hosts and brings national and international visitors by the thousands. The whole city supports it and it was devastating to have it be the target of such madness. I reiterate your final hope.
p.s. I received my undergraduate degree from Northeastern University.

Cape Cod Kitty said...

You have so lovingly and perfectly captured Boston and much of the same applies to my family. Both my parents were born in the city and I attended college there and have spent so many wonderful days of my life enjoying the marathon and all the opportunities available in "the Hub"....this is all very sad. There are beautiful stories and photos of heroism and they continue to unfold each day as Boston shines its way to recovery.
Thank you for your beautiful words.

John Paul McKinney said...

A beautiful post. Reminded me of my days teaching at Smith and our frequent trips to Boston, and then, years later, the trips I made to visit my son who studied at Tufts and then and then MIT. It is a great city, and strong.

troutbirder said...

Well said, Sally. The anger and rage among some elements of our society is beyond understanding. My thoughts today go to Boston and Newtown... and our Congress unable and unwilling to confront violence in even the smallest steps. :(

Mare said...

It is truly a tragic situation that makes us sad regardless of whether or not we know people who were hurt. I knew of people who were there, and were ok. Prayers to everyone affected.

Kay said...

It's Friday. What a relief to have some closure to this. But now there are so many questions still unanswered.

Bossy Betty said...

A beautiful post here. Just wanted to say thank you for stopping by my blog and for your very sweet comments! They meant a lot to me!

Deb Shucka said...

What a lovely tribute to a city that has managed to turn this terrible tragedy into a triumph of human goodness and spirit. I hope all of your family is okay, and that you have a chance to revisit this place that clearly has ahold of your heart soon. Love to you.

Vagabonde said...

What a lovely post about Boston. I can understand how you cherish the city and how it has hurt you to see what has happened there – it has hurt all of us. My youngest daughter decided to celebrate her birthday in Boston as she did not know the city – my other daughter went with her – they both had a great time and loved the city. What a terrible tragedy. The city has shown such a great spirit that everyone admired. The law enforcement has done a wonderful job there too. Thanks for coming to my blog and leaving a comment. Did you change your email address? I sent you an email at the end of March, asking you a question – and I am not sure if you received it.

Friko said...

At Sunday’s London Marathon the people of Boston were remembered. Solidarity amongst people of all nations, all colours and creeds ease the pain a little.

I firmly believe that evil will not triumph.

Sandi said...

Thank you for such a beautiful tribute to the beloved city of Boston. I visited two years ago and loved every minute of the week I spent there, soaking up the history and caught up in the stories of the amazing people I met. Hugs to you, and grateful that your family is safe.

Dee said...

Dear Sally, I've been away from blogging for quite a time because of a minor physical ailment. And so I return after about three weeks to your blog and find this touching and memorable tribute to Boston and those whose live there. Your tribute is filled with the pain all of us are feeling because of two men who shanghaied the Boston Marathon and so changed the face of Boston and the lives of so many people there. Your words are so poignant and so reflective of what all of us are feeling. Thank you for expressing this for us. Peace.

Joanne said...

Such a hateful act. Such a cowardly act. I will never ever understand...and I don't want to understand. I'm praying hard that hearts are healed and that hate is replaced with compassion and love.
Beautiful post.
Blessings, Joanne

Jackie said...

I just read that you haven't been feeling well; I hope that you are feeling better.

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

It's hard to imagine that horrific day and how many are suffering from this act of violence.
My heart goes out to all of Boston and I hope that our prayers are helping them to heal.
This was beautifully written and I am glad I was able to come by tonight for a visit.