20
Apr
13

I want my ‘normal’ back

I’ve always been amazed at how quickly the roads that make up the course for the Boston Marathon become, well, roads again once the race is over. The Tuesday after Patriots Day, you’ll not find a cup, a bottle, a table, a Mylar blanket anywhere.

It’s as if the race never happened.

Not this year.

Sure, the towns from semi-rural Hopkinton to city-like Brookline cleaned up. But the Boylston Street finish line remained as is – a crime scene – for many days. The littered scene symbolized the fact that the city, the runners, the spectators, the shuttered businesses, the residents – the nation – remained stuck on April 15.

We weren’t allowed the chance distance ourselves from this tragedy. Or, at very least, the chance to start that process.

Friday in Boston was like no other day. People were told to stay home. The streets were empty. Sporting events and schools were cancelled. It was similar to February’s blizzard, without a drop of snow.

You stayed home and you watched TV. Finally, late Friday night brought news that we could begin to “shovel out.” The last suspect was captured; the last flake fell.

Can we now finally go back to our normal lives? What is normal anyhow?

For me, it’s not worrying about whether a killer is on the loose. Or simply watching sports. I wanted to watch the Bruins and Red Sox last night, on my night off, but no one was afforded that luxury. Yeah, that’s a selfish attitude, but that’s my normal.

I want to complain when a rally or a power play is squandered, because that’s my normal.

But I also want to cheer again, just like the residents of Watertown did last night when the last suspect was captured. And the cheering goes beyond sports.

I want to cheer for and shake the hands of the members of the state police and FBI, who worked non-stop since Monday afternoon. Those men and women will want to remain anonymous; they’ll say they were just doing their jobs; they’ll wave off any mention of the word “hero.”

But they deserve our praise and support. There are many civilians who will suffer from PTSD after what happened this week, and there are services in place to help. Our emergency personnel needs a moral boost as well. I hope they get it.

So now, five days later, can we begin to move on? Clean up the finish line? Get back to our new normal?

I hope so.

Let’s see: Bruins at 12:30, Red Sox at 1:10, Celtics at 3.

That should help.

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