‘N’ is for ‘Numbers’.
I had little understanding of how much I would be affected by watching a ballgame at Fenway Park. This event was on Richard’s Bucket List, and I was the ‘Plus One.’ When we walked out of the stadium at the end of Saturday’s game, I was deeply moved. The experience was much more ‘full-on’ than I had anticipated. The excitement in the air was palpable. Strangers chatted together easily. There was a strong feeling of cohesion and unity. It didn’t hurt that the Red Sox won 10 -3.
When leaving the Stadium, I was struck by a framed t-shirt bearing the number ‘617,’ and the words ‘Boston Strong.’ ‘617’ is the main area code for Boston. The shirt is a symbol of the solemn solidarity that Bostonians demonstrated in the face of the horrific marathon bombing in their city in 2013.
That shirt also reminded me of my mixed emotion. Our youngest son is running in the Boston Marathon today. His race number is 3117. I am thrilled to watch him compete in such a prestigious event. But just as my pride is high, so is my ‘parental radar.’ I have that maternal tug of worry for the physical and emotional demands running 42.195 kilometers (26.219 miles) takes, especially in the unseasonably cold and wet weather. I am proud of his tenacity in accepting this challenge. I am grateful to witness the generosity of this city in supporting these runners, as well as never forgetting the victims and survivors of the 2013 tragedy. I am humbled by the resiliency and determination of all marathon participants, and the city that hosts them, in moving forward with both strength and compassion.
Once again, the words that ended up on this page are not what I had planned to put down. Writing has a powerful way of getting straight to the core and revealing what is weighing on our hearts, and our minds.
Good luck to Creighton, and the 30,000 others competing with him at today’s marathon. Please join me in sending them our warm thoughts and good wishes. Check back tomorrow for photos and updates.