“I’m OK”

When you hear those words you know not everything is OK.

“What is going on at the finish line?” It was the first question my husband asked when he called on Monday, April 15, 2013. He didn’t need to say what finish line, there was no question.

The Boston Marathon finish line – the one we were at not 24 hours before.

It was Jackson's and Campbell's first trip to the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

It was Jackson’s and Campbell’s first trip to the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

“There have been explosions at the finish line,” he said, and I started to freak out. He was at Fenway Park, just down the street. He must have sensed my panic because then he said it.

“I’m OK.”

If someone reassures you of this, you know it’s not good. And by that point I had turned on the television and it wasn’t good… not at all.

Two explosions. Seconds apart. In one of the busiest places of the city that day. Dozens injured, likely some killed. It was mayhem.

I was looking for my friends who work in television – especially those who work for WBZ, which broadcasts the race live. I could see some of them, but I knew there were so many more there.

My husband called back, he was being shifted to work in news. I pleaded with him to be careful, to stay away from that area, to come home to me and the babies.

“I’m OK,” he said.

I started getting texts from friends and family across the globe. “Are you OK?” “Please tell me you’re not there.” “What the hell?”

Watching the race from Heartbreak Hill.

Watching the race from Heartbreak Hill.

We had gone to the race, but we watched from Heartbreak Hill at Mile 20 in Newton and had come home for lunch and naps.

The texts kept coming. I called my mom.

“We’re OK.”

She hadn’t heard yet and immediately thought we had been in an accident. “No, someone bombed the finish line of the marathon,” I told her, breaking down into tears for the first time. Many, many more tears would come.

I was trying to keep an eye on the babies, who were thankfully blissfully unaware of what was going on, and still trying to catch glimpses of my friends and my former colleagues, and try to figure out what had happened.

My husband sent a text, he was being sent to a hospital to gather video and interviews. “Please be careful.” It was all I could say back.

I was glued to the television, still answering texts from around the world and talking with my mom here and there. She must have offered a half dozen times to come watch the babies so I could focus on the news.

“I’m OK,” I reassured her.

That night, my husband returned home much later than he planned. The babies were already asleep. I had a massive migraine from stress and not eating and drinking properly. As soon as I heard him walk through the door, I jumped up and hugged him.

“We’re OK.”

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