Written By: Kyle Lussier
November 21, 2013
The sun beams down, the grass is freshly cut, and the smell of Fenway Franks and drunk Red Sox fans take over you. To a die hard baseball fan there is nothing better then that moment, that moment when you are about to take the field and you realize that your dreams have become a reality. That is the moment that you strive towards every day of your life to achieve. The big leagues, where a young six year-old boy’s dreams become a reality. The dream, however does not revolve around a lofty million dollar contract, but instead it is based off of a simple passion, the love of baseball.
However, on this particular day, dreams became nightmares. The day was April 15, 2013. Marathon Monday, an important day in Boston, for it had been occurring on Patriots Day for 113 years. The day began in Fenway with the future American League Champion Boston Red Sox taking on the new arch rival Tampa Bay Rays. The game was supposed to be a celebration of one of my best friend, Davis Goode’s 16th Birthday, however the day turned out different then any of us had expected.
Bottom of the 9th, Mike Napoli, or now known as “The Siesta” stepped up to the plate, at this time beardless, and ripped a double of the beloved Green Monster and brought home the winning run for the Red Sox. Following the on field celebration by the Red Sox, Nic Barrett, Gianluca, Davis and I booked it over to the finish line of the 113th Boston Marathon, where we were going to see my oldest sister Sam and her best friend Mandy Morrissey finish hand in hand as they planned. We arrived at the EMC bleachers to meet up with my parents and sister MacKenzie, who had flown in to surprise Sam, to see the conclusion of the Marathon. Sam and Mandy’s goal was to finish the 26.2 mile event in under four hours. Hundreds of runners came and went, and the time seemed as if it kept getting faster and faster as the clocked moved towards four hours.
Finally, we saw my sister and Mandy come running up, Sam instantly cried when she saw Mackenzie standing with us in the bleachers as she ran by. Both Sam and Mandy finished the marathon in under four hours, which was the set goal. However this soon would turn from extreme excitement to a set of emotions of which I still cannot describe.
Following the completion of the race, all of us, this includes my friends and my family, moved off the EMC bleachers and to about 30 yards from the finish line. The clock read 4:02:19, I looked up and witnessed the most life changing sight ever, I saw the first of two bombs go off. At first, I thought: “Oh my gosh, there was a gas leak that exploded, or the building just collapsed, or there was a freak boiler accident, or maybe…” but after ten seconds of uncertainty, my worst fears became a reality. The second of the two bombs exploded in the unsuspecting crowd, and all doubt was terminated.
My first instinct was to flee as fast as I possibly could, but the sound of my mother screaming at me to return was unable to be ignored. Reluctantly I returned to my mother, father, sister and friends. Once we had all realized what situation we were now in, we had to devise a plan to get out of the city safely. Part of this plan was to find my sister Sam and her friend Mandy. It was close to fifteen minutes before we were able to get in touch with my sister Sam; let me tell you, it was the biggest relief I have ever felt in my life. The one text message we were able to get through was “PF Changs”. We had now found a way to find my sister. Between the time of the bombs going off and reaching my sister, I had experienced a whole new world of emotions that I had never experienced before. Uncertainty and the fear of death were two of the most unnerving emotions that came to me in this time. On route to finding my sister, we had to stop several times to re adjust our plans to get to PF Changs due to the uncertainty of what could happen next. The uncertainty gnawed at our decision making throughout the search because none of us knew if The Prudential, or the John Hancock, or even the Cheesegrader were going to go down next. Amidst the chaos, I was able to find time to make a quick phone call to a a very good friend of mine, after who I often went to see to talk about my experiences, and yelled into my phone “Two bombs just went off at the finish line in boston!”, she replied “Wait what? What’s going on?”, I replied “Turn on the news were all okay don’t worry about us-!” before I was cut out by the city. Before that Monday, religion was never my deal. I did not go to church, I did not pray; it was not because I did not believe in a god, it was more that I was not sure what I did believe in or even what to believe in. I have a questioning mind, so I have to know answers if thery are available, and if they are not, then I am hesitant to fully commit my self. However on this Monday, that all changed. Following my phone call, I fell to my knees out of despair for the first time in my life. I did not know what to pray for, or who to pray to but I remember through the tears I was able to get out “Please, if there is any form of a god or divine spirit, please let Sam and Mandy be okay, and please save this city from any further attacks”. It was a weird experience because I never had done anything like it before. On our way to PF Changs, we encountered a woman who had finished the marathon sitting a curb, wrapped in her thermal blanket, and with a glimmer of the marathon medal she received coming out of the middle of it. This woman was sobbing uncontrollably, so we went over to her to see what was wrong. Through her tears she was able to utter “I… I… I can’t find my hus-husband, he was at the finish line I-I can’t reach him please help”. After a few minutes of calling, finally we heard a “Hello?” on the other side, it was her husband. We all began to cry out of joy because truly it was a miracle in a time of horror for all of us. We watched them embrace once we met up with him, and we couldn’t help but to join in as well. After that moment, we bid our goodbyes and made our way to PF Changs, where we found my sister waiting for us. I became a total mess, we found my sister and again I fell to my knees, just thanking, I did not care who, but thanking whoever kept my sister safe while she made her way over to PF Changs. Following that Monday, I found an incredible motivation growing inside of me. It came from the realization that everything you know and love, can change in less than a second. I was lucky enough to have no physical harm done to me at the Marathon, although a few months of troubled sleep happened to be a repercussion. My passion lies in baseball, it is what I love to do. I wanted to play the rest of my season for the victims of the Marathon and like it was my last season ever. Baseball season of my sophomore year at Hingham High School was my best. I was called up onto the varsity team with a few games remaining in the regular season before tournament started. While I was on the team, we had a record of eleven wins and zero losses; six of those wins came in the playoffs. The playoff run that we made was magical and felt like it was destined for us to win the state championship, which we did. In the longest game in MIAA history, three hours and fifty-six minutes, Hingham came out with a victory in the bottom of the twelfth inning off of a Cody Clifford bases loaded single with three balls, two stirkes, and two outs on him. A short two months after the walk off by Napoli, we had one of our own. Even though it was not the major leagues, it was still the fulfillment of a six year old’s dream. There are still memories from that Monday, I always will have them, but it is not about erasing them, it is about shaping your life to make them slowly fade from being so active on your mind. Everytime the national anthem is played, whether it be at a high school baseball game, or it be at a New England Revolution game, I always bow my head and say a small prayer when it reaches “The bombs bursting in air” to remind myself of what happened that day and also to light that fire to work my hardest at everything, because I know that it can be taken away in a blink of an eye.