In August of 2002, a wide eyed "closeted" 22 year old drove to Boston with his mother. He had decided to pack up everything he owned and move as far east as he could without getting wet. Boston was to become his home for 4 amazing years.
I can still remember walking into my first apartment in Boston. It was horrifically dirty, and my mother was dead set against leaving me there! We spent the night and 1/2 the next day cleaning this 650 sq. ft. studio apartment. After it was cleaned, she still didn't want to leave me there. But I convinced her that it was okay.
Over the next few days, my mother and I went around Boston buying groceries and supplies for my apartment. And on the day that I took my mother to the airport, I assured her that I had tons of money and was excited for this new chapter in my life. Well, I lied. I didn't have much money in my pocket. But I had a roof over my head, groceries in my cupboards and fridge, and a job.
It was almost 4 months of living in Boston before I could say I was "making it." And what was that determining factor? I could finally order something off the 99 cent menu at Wendy's. Now some of you might be thinking that that is a crazy way of determining that I was going to "make it." But this to me was enormous!
Over the next few years I started to become the person I am today. I had decided that when I moved to Boston, everyone who met me would know me for me. A young, gay man. I came out to my mother while I lived there. And I also came out to my father then as well. Each of those were defining moments in my life. I also went through many, many ups and downs while living there. But I made some amazing friends, and had some great memories made.
Yesterday, a person or persons cowardly attacked my home. As I watched the news unfold, and the pictures coming across the wire...the pit in my stomach grew. Tears filled my eyes while I read the articles, and my skin was filled with goose-bumps when I saw the video of the bombs going off. My thoughts immediately went to my friends that still live there. I frantically searched Facebook for signs that they were okay. And one by one each friend checked in.
Thankfully, all of my friends and their loved ones are okay. But this doesn't ease my mind, or the minds of the people of Boston. Someone attacked us, and there still isn't any word on who did it or why. There is a lot of speculation, but no true facts yet. These hours are agonizing, and I can only imagine what it must be like to be one of the people injured or their family members. Or worse, the family members of the 3 who lost their lives yesterday.
I'm reminded of the Oklahoma City bombing, and am thankful that the bombs were nothing like that one. It may seem callous to think of a silver lining, but in my mind its something that helps me a little bit. But it doesn't ease the pain and suffering that was inflicted upon this nation. During this time I ask that you take a moment and no matter what your faith...say a prayer or have a moment of silence for the victims of this cowardly act.
Events like these remind us yet again that life is precious, and can be taken at any moment. Love your family and friends, and let them know it. My heart aches for Boston and all the people who were affected by this event. Why such senseless violence? When will it end?
Boston, you are in my heart and I will never forget my time with you. You made me a stronger person. And I know that you and your people will recover and become even stronger.