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Exploring Serendipity A Mother’s View of the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing By Robin Enright

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ave you ever thought about the places you almost were but weren’t and wondered how those choices were made or what the result would have been if you had decided differently? I’ve personally been slapped in the face with the happy accidents otherwise defined as serendipity recently. My daughter Hannah ran her first marathon to fulfill her dream to cross the finish line in her home state. Her first marathon was at the age of 23 and was on April 15, 2013, in the 117th Boston Marathon. She ran for the Michael Lisnow Respite Center, which provides a home away from home for children and adults with disabilities, and in honor of the life of family friend, Jamie Henderson, who died two years earlier, the result of a landslide in Santorini, Greece. Jamie was the father of one of Hannah’s life-long friends and his death hit our community hard. Marathon Monday was sunny and chilly and we opted to watch Hannah first at roughly the 10 mile mark and, when she spied us cheering her on, the smile on her face expanded and glowed, her ponytail swinging high on her head inside a pink and purple ribbon. We hugged her quickly before she continued. Her joy is infectious and I am happy and proud as we board the train for Boston to be with her at the finish. Once we were in Boston, we discovered that Exeter Street was not too crowded so we thought to watch for her there. But Hannah’s boyfriend reported, after sprinting to the end of Exeter and back, “I think we might be able to see her even better from Commonwealth and Massachusetts Ave,” so we decided to abandon that location and follow his lead away from Exeter. We can guess when she will arrive by assuming her pace will remain close to just over 10 minutes and because my ex-husband had called me while we were on the train to say he had seen her on Heartbreak Hill and she looked fantastic. (It’s important to note here that this phone call was odd—my ex-husband actively avoids any contact with me.) When we arrive at our new viewing spot, we lean against the fence at Commonwealth Ave and cheer on the now fatigued but determined runners.

12  WAM • SUMMER | 2013

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