Tuesday, April 28, 2015

And now Adrianne Haslet-Davis dancing the foxtrot with her partner Shane ....

She vowed that she would dance again despite losing her leg in the Boston Marathon bombings on 4/15/13. As the convicted Boston Marathon bomber sits in the Federal Courthouse having to wear shackles and chains when he is transported from prison to court, the beautiful and graceful, loving and kind Adrianne Haslet-Davis danced across the finish line on Boylston Street.

Adrianne was interviewed for an article in today's Boston Herald:

“The finish line, to me, is first remembering the lives lost, feeling the struggle of the survivor community and the beginning of something,” Haslet-Davis said. “It means another start...”

Haslet-Davis now is focusing on Boylston Street and tomorrow’s commercial for Oberto Beef Jerky. The company has made her part of its “Heroes of Summer” 
video campaign.

The director, Court Crandall, said Haslet-Davis is being paid a “nominal fee” for showing off her dancing skills near the very spot that changed her life forever.

She’ll be part of an ad that will feature others who have beaten the odds. Her dance partner will be Shane Crellin.

“The finish line will never be the same. It will still stand for grit and glory for runners, but it means so much more to so many people,” she said of why she’s dancing there. “It means another start. To accomplish something I thought was only a dream.”

Haslet-Davis said she senses the city “wants to heal.” Dancing is her way toward taking that step.

How remarkable that just two weeks ago, Nancy Taylor used the metaphor of dancing at One Boston Day: A Service of Resilience to talk about our healing journey as the Boston Strong Community.

A small crowd gathered in the early morning hours. It was cold and windy but we gathered together basking in the glow and warmth of what it means to be Boston Strong. I brought Boston Strong Ducks with me to share the message of kindness and love, and paying it forward, and I made new friends along the way:

John Campbell, pictured above with Trish Chandler of Marathon Sports Boston run club turned to me as we first gathered and said, "Another day for healing."

Adrianne walked down Boylston Street and greeted each and every one of the people waiting in the crowd to take part in this incredible moment. Her love, her gratitude and kindness; her gentleness yet her incredible strength were palpable.

I don't know how she danced in her sleeveless gown given that we were shivering with coats, gloves and hats on but she floated across the finish line with grace:

There wasn't a dry eye on Boylston Street!

After the first take for the commercial, Adrianne spent some time with those of us who came out to support her.

I asked her if she had a Boston Strong Duck. She said she had one but would love to take the one that I had with me. She posed with everyone who was there, even the construction workers, for photo ops.

"I'm a hugger," she said to each person she greeted and said, "I love you."

I was able to share with her my journey to the Boston Marathon finish line and how she has inspired me to set a goal for another marathon next year. She hugged me with such warmth and love and said, "Congratulations on all you have done and good luck for your next one."

So as the accused bomber awaits his fate, we hugged, we laughed, we cried, we came together as we do in this beautiful, brilliant, resilient City of ours; Adrianne danced and we cheered. We celebrated resilience and redemption. We made new friends and the fiber and strength of the tapestry of our Boston Strong community continues to grow. Therein lies the true meaning of justice and freedom.

I am deeply honored, blessed and grateful that I could be a part of this incredible morning where Adrianne Haslet-Davis returning to the finish line of the Boston Marathon danced the foxtrot with her partner Shane.

Be blessed. Journey well. To all good things....

My latest book, "Journey Well" is now available on Amazon along with all of my inspirational books. 50% of book proceeds are donated to the Massachusetts Resiliency Center, a safe, welcoming space for survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing to heal and stay in touch with one another; a virtual hub for a widely dispersed community whose lives have been impacted by the tragic events of April 15th and the events that followed.

When terror struck the world's oldest and most beloved marathon on April 15, 2013, it was a defining moment in Mary McManus’ life and the lives of all those in Boston and around the world. It was her wake up call to return to the sport and community that have been medicine and a lifeline for her throughout her marathon of healing the late effects of paralytic polio and experiencing 9 years of domestic violence as a child and adolescent. Mary captures the essence of Boston Strong through her experience of the 2014 Boston Marathon and as she profiles the people who are Boston Stronger. Through her blog posts, poems and journal entries woven together with excerpts from her memoir, “Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility,” you will experience, through one woman’s journey of transformation and healing, that no matter what happens to us, we can all learn to journey well.

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