Heather Harris: Looking for an answer

Heather Harris%%More Content Now News
The 2013 Boston Marathon.

My phone buzzed.

“Something going on in Boston, heard/felt an explosion. Builds are being locked down.”

The text message was from my husband, Dave. It came in at 3:07 p.m. on Monday, April 15. Patriots Day. Marathon Monday.

He works a block away from the Boston Marathon finish line on Boylston Street.

Ironically, our newsroom has no television. So I turned to the Internet.

“Explosions reported at the Boston Marathon finish line” the headlines read.

I picked up my phone and tried to call Dave. No answer.

I knew many people running the marathon. I frantically began to track where they were last recorded when the explosions went off.

Kevin Reen, he completed the race. Erin Botelho, it listed her somewhere still out on the course. Jamie, Tom, Rich, Walter, Stephanie, Shannon, Diana, Chris…

I tried to call Dave again. No answer.

Helpless is the only word I can use to describe how Monday felt.

I left the office.

The ride home I kept hitting the redial button trying to locate Dave, the father of my two children.

No answer.

My mind wandered back to those I knew running the race. Where they okay? Were their families at the finish line?

People were hurt, people I didn’t know. People who came to cheer on their loved ones as well as strangers.

My co-worker Stu had left hours earlier to cheer on his brother from Florida. Was he okay? Was his brother okay?

The Boston Marathon is a celebration. It turns a bustling city into a connected community. People run for charities, to help others in need. People run to achieve an unfathomable goal, to push themselves. It truly represents the best of the human spirit.

I sent Dave a text at 3:49 p.m.

“Answer phone.”

No response.

What was happening? This is our new world? Where we live in fear of dropping our children off at school, going to a movie theatre, flying on an airplane, running a marathon?

There are no answers.

Our leaders proclaim there will be justice.

No there isn’t.

Not when innocent people are killed and injured. Not when hate creates fear.

We can only try to live and not let those who commit these vicious acts to destroy the human spirit. Because the majority of us are good. The majority of us are kind. The majority of us care.

Love destroys hate.

Appreciate those that you love. Appreciate life.

I called one more time.


Heather Harris is reporter for the Norton Mirror, Mansfield News and Easton Journal. A three-sport high school athlete and two-sport college athlete, sports have long been a passion of hers. The mother of two can be seen running through the streets of Mansfield where she currently resides. Heather Harris can be reached at hharris@wickedlocal.com