This past weekend was supposed to be our first night away from Riley. I had been talking about it for weeks and getting excited. I packed a sleeping pill, earplugs, my ipad and was ready to enjoy peace and quiet. From the minute we dropped him off, I should have known this would have been nothing like I imagined....
I was hysterically crying when I left my baby's side. My hubs explained that it hurt me so much since I have never spent a night without him nearby. He is my best friend. After I got over leaving him and we were further away it got better. We arrived in Boston and walked the streets to the convention center for the marathon. The whole city closes down and it is a national holiday. In fact, to get even in the race you have to qualify as an elite runner. I was super proud of hubs for getting in and graciously walked 2 hours in the expo while he oohed and aahhed at displays. We stood by marathon sports and took pictures at the finish line. This was a happy occasion that all runners look forward to.
We finally got back to our hotel, relaxed, changed and went out for dinner. I ate and drank a glass of wine and was happy to hear that Riley was asleep at my mom's. I ate a cupcake at Georgetown Cupcakes on Newbury and had hubs explain this would be our meeting spot the following day. It was one block from the finish line.
The morning of the race I met a friend for brunch. We walked through the town and through the mall. We had to go pretty far just to cross over the street the marathon was on. We passed the finish line again. After shopping, she left me GT cupcakes. My tracking text message on my phone told me he was almost at the finish. So I left our meeting spot to go see if I could see a glimpse on him at the parallel street. I saw babies, dogs, kids, elderly, families lovingly waiting. I heard an elderly man beam with pride about his grand nephew who was running.
All of the runners who finished were not my hubby so I walked back to the meeting spot. I waited a bit and finally saw him coming up the street. We walked till we found a cab, got our bags, he showered and then we decided to ditch the idea of sitting down and get something to go and get home to Riley. I missed him TOO much.
On the drive back, only an hour later, I got a text from the friend I went to brunch with. This I will never forget.
"There were two explosions"
WHAT? I thought. Where? Two bombs went off on the finishing area where I was JUST standing to try and see my husband finish. Two bombs that killed two and injured over 100. All of a sudden my phone started to ring, text, tweet, facebook post, it was nonstop. People asking me if I was okay. Friends who I haven't talked to in years checking in on me and Jared. The calls were overwhelming and I then sent out group texts to friends, called family and posted on FB to let others know we were fine. I could see the headlines flash before my eyes of a couple that didn't make it home to their newborn. I thought we were in a movie as we left the smoke behind us on the drive.
The text made me think back to 9/11 when my best friend text me "There was an explosion". I was right back there again. Except this time I was not safe in my bed miles away, I was in the vicinity of the blast. I was there an hour before the bombs went off. That could have been me. That bomb could have taken my life or my husband's. One different decision, some more time for him to run, just about anything could have changed my path. "Luck was on my side" someone said to me. Why yes it was. Luck was there that Riley still has a mommy and daddy.
My thoughts and prayers go out to those who were not as lucky. To that elderly man that was waiting to see his grand nephew. Did he make it? To the babies in strollers, dogs on leashes and kids playing near the bomb site - are you all okay? All the smiling faces replaced with crying ones. Blood everywhere. I am still in shock that this is not just something you hear on the news, but something that I was VERY close to. Something that I was a part of in some way. Luck was on my side today and I am thankful for that and I have never kissed and hugged Riley more than I did tonight as I let him sleep a little longer in my arms before putting him to bed.
I will never forget that could have been me....