I took this picture right across from the grand stands yesterday about 10 minutes before the first explosion. A minute or so after I took it, I stopped directly in front of the finish line to watch the runners. I remember the race clock reading 3:58 and thinking it was amazing these people were finishing in 4 hours.
As I walked past the finish line, Joey McIntyre of New Kids on the Block was just finishing. I stopped when I heard his name and then I started walking a bit faster to try and catch a glimpse. I kept walking. I took a left at Copley, a right on Newbury St, and two blocks later, cut up Arlington. I was in the middle of the Boylston & Arlington intersection when I heard the explosion and saw the smoke.
I stopped for a second and then kept walking.
I thought it was a blown transformer.
I kept walking.
I thought maybe someone had just completed a marathon fete and they were celebrating with canons.
I kept walking.
When I saw all the police cars and ambulances go flying by, I knew something was wrong.
I stopped walking.
I checked Twitter. I tried to find out what was happening. People were just standing around looking. Others were continuing on their day with no idea what had just happened. I stopped to talk to a family who’s daughter had just completed the race and they were almost in tears. They didn’t know where to go. They didn’t know what to do. They just wanted to be out of the city.
And then I kept walking, trying to get home as fast as I could.
I don’t really remember the walk home after that. I tried to keep up with everything that was happening but there weren’t any answers. My friends were all texting but no one could make calls. Everyone was ok but no one really knew what was going on
I got home, turned on the news and I lost it.
I couldn’t believe what had just happened. The horrific videos, the stories, the images…I can’t put it into words.
If you’ve seen the photos, you know the place I was standing in the picture above is almost the exact spot it happened. If you’ve seen the videos, the race clock was reading 4:08 in one and 4:10 in another.
I don’t know why this happened.
I don’t know why a person would do this to other people.
I don’t know why the people who were standing there were standing there just then.
I don’t know why it happened at that exact time.
I don’t know why I decided to keep walking.
I am extremely sad for the people who were standing there and for their friends and families. It’s hard to watch the news. It’s hard to type this without tears.
I don’t know why.
I do know I am amazingly grateful for the life I have. For the people in my life. For the calls, texts, tweets, messages. For the people I spent the evening with that provided comfort, food, and amazingly even a few laughs. For my coworker who was a block away and was safe and in the office today.
I am grateful for that and much, much more.
The mayor’s office set up a fund to donate to victims. Please do so here.