Saturday, April 11, 2015

Countdown to Boston: It's Like Christmas in April

Walter Dunbar, first responder posted on Facebook that Christmas is coming on 4/20th and my dear friend Bill McCabe mentioned it's like Christmas Eve when he gets emails notifying him that someone donated to Marc Fucarile's Fundraising Page.

This year's marathon feels like Christmas to me. There is a frenzy of activity planning meet ups and get togethers with the Marathon family. There is the bittersweet quality to the Marathon as part of our new normal as we remember those who are no longer with us because of the events of 4/15/13 and celebrate healing and moving forward in the wake of that day. We also know that it's a lifelong process of healing and recovery for many of the survivors injured in the blasts.

The Marathon only comes once a year. There is no way to avoid packed schedules, early mornings and wanting to soak in every moment of this time of year made that much sweeter after the grueling winter we experienced.

There is an air of anticipation that comes over the City with decorations of banners:

and the scaffolding going up at the finish line:

It's a time of goodwill and the giving of presents in the form of donations to runners who are going the distance for causes near and dear to their heart.

I've been blessed to feature many runners and teams of runners in my Fundraising Friday features. I get so excited when I go back and check and see that many have met their goal, are within striking range of their goal or on their way to meeting to their goal. I love seeing donations pour in to all the wonderful causes especially those that help survivors and their families.

It's getting close to the anniversary of 4/15/13 and to Marathon Monday. I sit here with a host of emotions but I'd say the most prevalent emotion I feel is that of gratitude; profound gratitude that we were able to escape safely from ground zero and that we did not witness first hand the carnage of the day. I am deeply grateful to the beautiful community of survivors and their families and to my running family as we commemorate and celebrate the running of the 119th Boston Marathon.

Christmas is also a time for nostalgia. It's especially sweet to remember 4/20/2009 when I ran the 113th Boston Marathon as a mobility impaired runner for Spaulding Rehab and raised over $10,535 for the hospital where my healing journey began in December of 2006:

1 week 1 day 15 hours 46 minutes and counting until Boston Runs as One -- it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Journey well!

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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