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Which sin are you guilty of HERE
Sent: Thursday, April 18, 2013 10:22 AM
To: Walker, Chet
Subject: From Joy
I just wanted to relay a story you haven’t heard , since it’s very relevant to both Newtown and the marathon.
My brother’s family lives in Sandy Hook. And yes, they had a 4th grader in the Sandy Hook school on December 14th. She was unharmed, at least physically. As you can imagine, it’s been a hellish four months. I have been to Sandy Hook twice in that time and I can assure you, this community is far from recovering from this, and it is the talk of the town, day after day. Each time I visited, my brother’s family pulled out hundreds of snowflakes, stacks of letters, handmade quilts and scarves – an unbelievable outpouring of support that certainly helps them live with this new reality.
And last Monday – a bright spot. My sister-in-law was running in her first Boston Marathon. She had qualified in her first marathon in Steamtown, PA about 18 months ago and had dedicated herself to the rigorous training required to do well in any marathon. At each of my visits, she would head out, according to her schedule, to run the 8 miles, or 5 miles, or 22 required of the program. She was ready, although she said she didn’t feel her time would be too great, since she was derailed with a hip problem in Sept., Sandy Hook in Dec., and a foot issue in Feb.
Still, she persisted, and we were all incredibly proud of her and anxious to see her run.
I have never watched a marathon, but this one was too special to miss. I headed to Boston last Friday, met up with the family on Sat. for a lovely day spent on a Duck Boat, and then on to Peabody for a dinner with a cousin. I was staying with friends near Hopkinton, where the race starts, and we visited there last Sunday to check out the preparations.
On Monday, the weather was perfect. I decided to stand at Mile 8 in Natick to avoid the crowds in Boston. Thousands of runners flew past, of all abilities, ages, and sizes. It was a privilege to urge them on, calling out their names if they displayed them written on arms, legs, or duct tape, or by shirt color. Then I spotted Judy, who was running with 7 others from Newtown to raise scholarship finds (newtownstrong.com). I’m attaching a photo of her as she spotted me, and me with a sign to attract her attention. Her joy is palpable.
After a couple hours, I began the 6-hour drive home. It was near Albany that I got a text from my brother about two explosions that seemed to come from underground. He didn’t know what they were. They were standing about four blocks away and soon saw a flurry of emergency personnel. They nearly headed to the T to return to their hotel, thought better of it, and began walking – another 2 miles for Judy back to Cambridge.
The family has been dealing with a lot. Their 4th grader was in tears at the marathon because of the helicopters – reliving, no doubt, the fear from Sandy Hook just four months earlier. Judy had precious few moments to savor her victory. They also had an exchange student from France in tow, who has been through the Sandy Hook tragedy (in fact, her family is coming to visit next week, still determined to visit Boston and Cape Cod as planned). Then the devastating news yesterday that the Senate voted down background checks, even as the courageous Newtown families lobbied face-to-face. Curt, Judy and two of their children won a lottery just last week to see President Obama campaign in Hartford against a Senate filibuster planned for last Thursday… and last Thursday, Judy took part in a press conference in Boston to commemorate the Newtown families with the unveiling of the 26-mile marker to be used at the marathon.
My brother and his family are sad, enraged, and also determined. He said when we last talked on Monday night: “Judy has pre-qualified for next year, and we’ll be back in 2014.”
Just thought you might like to know about this. I know you blog and you can use this info, but I don’t think any of us are up for a phone interview.