It was surreal to be in Italy during the bombings in Boston and their aftermath. Monday morning, we had tried to explain Patriots Day to Margherita, our wonderful hostess at the Villa San Cosma in Ravello. The joy, the excitement, the Red Sox at 11AM, the thousands of people who line the entire marathon route to cheer on everyone who has the strength to attempt this amazing feat. As we were heading to bed Monday night, we started getting texts from friends and relatives, and seeing Facebook postings. Margherita greeted us Tuesday morning with hugs and tears. And everywhere we went, people expressed their sorrow and sympathy when they learned we were from Boston. In Madrid, a woman who worked with the public transportation agency offered her love for America and shared our grief.
Friday morning we watched the firefight between the terrorists and the police as the clouds cleared over the Mediterranean. Folks in Positano knew that the brothers had been captured and cheered along with us. At dinner in Maiori, our heads turned to watch the lead story on Italian news along with everyone else in the restaurant.
A running joke in my husband’s family is that you can take the girl out of Hyde Park but you cannot take the Hyde Park out of the girl. I am a Bostonian through and through, and proud of it. But never have I been prouder than I was last week, watching with the rest of the world from thousands of miles away.
There are more of us. There are. I believe it in my soul, and the love we felt from the Italians, and the heroism and the acts of selflessness and the amazing will and strength of the survivors confirm it–with Boston being the strongest survivor of them all.