For Love of Boston

Frock Files | Boston Will Rise

Most Fridays, I join James on his commute into the city, and if the weather is nice, I take the T to Copley Square to work out of the beautiful public library. Sometimes, in the summertime and in early autumn, I bring a big bag to fill up on vegetables and fruits from the farmer’s market just across the street. I used to work in a building one block away.

Copley Square is, to me, the heart of Boston. As we watched the news loop the footage of the explosions over and over from our hotel room in Portland on Monday, it felt surreal to see Copley filled with smoke and a flurry of panic, splattered with blood. Even now, more than 24 hours later, my brain has difficulty reconciling this familiar place with this terrible act.

Back in 2006, I was preparing for a trip to London when I heard the news that two explosions had gone off there. One was on a bus, detonated immediately across the square from the apartment my beloved professor, Ruth, and her husband lived in, in Bloomsbury. When I arrived there, windows were blown out of the building that was nearest to the explosion. Flowers were scattered about with notes attached to them. The city was running in full again, but it felt different — on edge, tense, despite the warmth of summer.

It felt that way when we touched down at Logan airport yesterday. There were police officers all over the airport, cop cars lined up along the Charles River and throughout Kendall Square. We turned on the radio, scanned the stations, and heard the words “tragedy,” “bomb,” and “terrifying” so many times that we eventually turned it off. As we drove through the tunnels that connect the airport to the city we hit traffic, and for the first time ever, I felt panic creep in until we were mercifully released back into the sunshine washing over Storrow Drive.

For everyone who calls Boston home, there is now the eerie feeling of violation and uncertainty. Those who were gruesomely injured, their loved ones, and the loved ones of those killed (I cry every time I think of that little boy), have to deal with the coupling of these uncomfortable feelings and a new, more difficult life. But this is a city of big hearted, tough people, and there’s no doubt in my mind that Boston will rise from this stronger than before. As Jim Walsh of Boston’s public radio station explains, “Boston is not the biggest city in America; it is not the most politically powerful. But it has an inner determination and power that only the foolish ignore.”

This is our home.

Want to help? The Red Cross and Boston Children’s Hospital are accepting donations. Our friends at Caravan Shoppe have created a free printable to fight the darkness with light and beauty.

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  1. This is a beautiful post about a horrible event. Sending big hugs to you and your city.

  2. Hi Joy, What happened is completely terrible, shocking and scary. Sending much love and prayers to you, your loved ones and all of Boston.

  3. Our hearts are with Boston.

  4. Such a thoughtful and inspiring post. What happened in Boston on Monday makes me so sad. Thanks for sharing why you love this wonderful city. And the links for helping out are perfect. Hugs to you and your city. xo

  5. As I heard the news of this tragic event unfold throughout the day on Monday, I thought of you. Along with the two years I spent living in Boston, you are my connection with the city now. My heart aches for the lives lost and the many more injured/maimed. Boston is a strong city and, to echo your sentiment, I have no doubt the city will emerge from this tragedy stronger than ever before. Sending you all love and light in these most difficult days. xo

  6. Anthony keeps watching news footage after footage, and I can’t stomach it. I can’t imagine what you’re going thru, but I’m so grateful that you weren’t there and that no one you knew was hurt. Big hugs xoxo

  7. Wonderful post, Joy. I’m amazed that you could summon such perspective so quickly! I’m still reeling from what happened. Only talented writers can do that. What a great gift!

  8. Such a thoughtful and well-written post…. it is so hard to believe what happened and when it happens close to home I’m sure it seems that much more terrifying and real. Sending positive thoughts to you and your city.

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