You might have noticed that I haven’t been publishing much this week. I’ve lived 85% of my life in Boston’s suburbs. Six years ago, I moved to San Francisco, but I was fortunate enough to be able to move back to New England in the last couple of months. I might have went a little over the top with my feelings about moving back home – Boston does that to you.
Many of the long time readers are familiar with my (quite possibly overly obnoxious) pride I’ve taken in Boston, in particular Boston sports. I remember clearly writing to one my friends who lives out of town how much I was looking forward to watching the Red Sox game on Monday morning, the earliest game on the MLB calendar every year. It’s was Patriot’s Day, the biggest holiday in Boston.
I remember the Red Sox winning that morning on a walk-off double. It seems like three months ago since Boston celebrated like that.
I wasn’t going to write about the Boston Marathon bombings. I didn’t want to believe it for awhile. It’s easier for me to think of an explosion as an accident like the San Bruno Pipeline Explosion that was just a few miles from me in CA. I simply can’t comprehend evil without conclusive evidence, so I shook it off. Within hours, it was clear that it wasn’t an accident.
Many people have asked me if I was okay as news of the bombings hit. I appreciated the concern, but I explained that I live far enough from Boston now to put me well out of harm’s way.
And then came Watertown…
When I said I lived in Boston’s suburbs a vast majority of my life, I mean a city adjacent to Watertown. I’ve shopped at Ann & Hope at the Arsenal Mall hundreds of times. I waited in line at the DMV across the street for hours. If you saw Andrea’s House of Pizza on the news (big blue lighted awning), let me tell you, they have tremendous pizza.
This hit me closer to home than the marathon bombing.
There’s never such a thing as good timing with something like this, but for me and my family, it was particularly poor timing. Living far enough from Boston wasn’t going to work on Friday morning. My six month old had surgery scheduled at Children’s Hospital at 7AM. We had to be at the hospital by 5:30AM so they could prepare. We got up at 3AM to the news of the car chase through Watertown.
No one knew what was going on, so we proceeded to the as planned. As we drove in, we learned that the first suspect had died at Beth Isreal, a hospital very close to Children’s. The trip was very uneventful. When we arrived we talked to all the nurses, anesthesiologists, doctors and sent off Little Man to surgery. A half-hour into surgery, we got word that the hospital was on lockdown, like all of Boston and several suburbs.
It is around this point when I thought, “This is terribly inconvenient.” Perhaps my thoughts were a little stronger as I was low on sleep. It was at that point, I noticed a few people to the left of my wife and I in the waiting room. They were wearing purple shorts with a well-designed logo reading, “Rowan – Army Strong.” I hadn’t thought much about it until I heard one say that they had an update on Rowan. Not one to make a scene, I typed out a note on my cell phone to my wife saying, “See those people?” Before I got too far she had written back, “Be thankful we don’t have T-shirts made up for Little Man.”
I was. We were in for a very common procedure that, as far as surgery goes, was one of the least risky ones. Spending a few extra hours in the hospital is a grain of sand in comparison to what people have been through over the last week.
I’ve been thinking about how to explain how it felt when they finally caught the guy. Maybe it would be like if you combined a lifetime of 4th of July celebrations into 5 minutes that would be it. Even the FCC gets it, ignoring the David Ortiz’ obscenity.
On this blog, things will return to normal. Actually, after 7 years of blogging, I’ll be making a significant change. Look for an announcement in the next day or so. I think you’ll like it.