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This is a tragedy.  Massachusetts is home to me.  Boston is a favorite place of mine.

Honestly, I don’t even know how to start this post so I will give you a timeline of how yesterday went for me and see where that leads me.

Yesterday:
April 15, 2013 – The 117th running of the Boston Marathon on Patriot’s Day – Boston, Massachusetts

4:14pm:
Patrick texted me “The Boston marathon was bombed.”

4:15pm:
Me: “What?!”

4:17pm:
I start to panic because my sister lives in the city and class was cancelled for Patriot’s Day and Boston Marathon celebrations. She did happen to mention the other day that she was going to spectate with a few friends.

4:20pm:
I texted my sister “Are you okay! I heard Boston was bombed!!!”

4:36pm
Kierstin texted me back “yeah i was two blocks from where it happened im ok though”

4:36pm
Me: “Two blocks! What the hell”

4:37pm
Kierstin: “yeah im okay tar”

4:37pm
Me: “Omg on[sic] freaking out”
Me: “I’m sweating and about to cry and Jesus fuck”

4:37pm
Kierstin: “i love u and ill let u know everything”
Kierstin: “i promise”

4:48pm
Me: “What you mean? Let me know everything do you know someone who was hurt”

After this text message I didn’t get another response. I was staring wildly at my phone, tears welling up in my eyes. I was still at work for another ten minutes so I started packing up so that I could call my parents.

5:01pm
I called my father. I told him I tried searching for news but nothing was conclusive. People were dead and many more were injured. There was more than one explosion and I told him Kierstin was near it all. Now she wasn’t answering texts or phone calls. He said he was going to try and get a hold of her.

5:04pm
I called my mom. She wasn’t watching the news. She was running errands. She had no idea what was happening. I must have freaked her out as the words “bomb” and “Kierstin” and “in Boston” flowed like water from my mouth. She basically knew about as much as I did at this point. I was driving home and couldn’t check the news on my phone easily. I told her that dad was trying to get a hold of Kierstin and that I would update her.

5:10pm
I kept receiving texts from my parents about Kierstin. I couldn’t get through to her and she wasn’t responding to my texts.

5:12pm
My dad called me and said Kierstin was walking her friends home. Incredulously, I stammered, “Wh-wha-what? She’s just casually walking people home?” She needs to leave the city. LIKE NOW! People are dying! We don’t know what’s going on, there could be more bombs!” My dad tried to calm me down. He said he’d call and yell at her and tell her to get to her apartment as soon as possible.

5:16pm
I called my mom again, she told me Kierstin wasn’t leaving, that everything was fine.

5:18pm
My dad called, I switched the call from my mom to talk to him. He said that he was on the way out the door to go pick Kierstin up himself, in Boston, because her school just got bombed. Her boyfriend was just activated from the National Guard and she couldn’t get home. I told him I would keep him updated with news as soon as I could get home and watch it.

5:19pm
I think the realization of what was happening hit my sister and she realized that it was a coordinated event, not just some gas explosion or something. She texted me saying that she was scared.

5:20pm
Switched back over to my mom, crying, and told her that Kierstin’s school just bombed. She said she was going to call my brother and see if he knew what was happening.

5:33pm
I called my brother and told him to try and get a hold of Kierstin. I told him that dad was driving into the city to get her. He said he would try and we hung up.

6:01pm
I got home and turned on the news to see the tail end of the President’s press conference. Apparently the JFK Library incident was a separate, unrelated event and I texted my dad to update him. I learned that more bombs were found and were being deactivated by EOD units. I suddenly thought of all the runners I knew up there participating in the event. I thought of all my other friends and relatives who live in the city. I didn’t know if they would be watching the race or if they were okay or not.

6:10pm
I posted my second Facebook status asking for information from friends and relatives up there. I knew cell service was cut (which was why my sister’s cell phone was not working for a bit) but internet service was still on. I got an update from a friend saying he was a few blocks away at a bar watching the marathon highlights when it all went down. He said everything was chaotic and no one knew what was going on.

7:11pm
My dad called and I heard Kierstin in the background. He had picked her up at her apartment after she got a ride back in a taxi. We all sent her messages on her phone/facebook/email/voicemail to NOT get on the T. At this point we had no idea if this was a terrorist attack or if someone planned to bomb the public transportation. They both were on route back to Cape Cod.

8:00pm
WESH 2 News updated viewers on the health of all the runners in the Central Florida area. The few that I knew were okay.

8:15pm
I checked Facebook for status updates about friends and family in the area and was relieved to know that everyone I knew and friends of friends were all safe and sound.

10:30pm
I went to bed with my head swimming from images of the carnage unleashed on innocent people. Among the deceased, an 8 year old boy. Just heartbreaking. Gut wrenching. I had nightmares last night knowing that there were a lot of people who would not be able to go to bed as I had because their family or friends were impacted by the explosions. I could not shake the image of the elderly runner falling to his knees as the blast blew just to left of him.

Today:
I am deeply saddened by the events of the Boston Marathon Bombing and acts of terror on innocent by-standers. My thoughts and prayers go out to those first responders, family, and friends of those impacted by the events.

~Tarah

I would like to make an addition to the post.  Here are some conversations I had with my sister today.  They are the epitome of the fragility of life…

So close and yet, fortunately, so far away.

So close and yet, fortunately, so far away.

You never know just how lucky you may be when you miss your train...

You never know just how lucky you may be when you miss your train…

 

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