Tuesday, April 16, 2013

My Friend in the Boston Marathon

As part of this Best Friend Series, I've been planning on writing some posts about some of the best friends I have had. I moved around a lot and so made and lost best friends over the years.  And then yesterday I was brought to tears because one of my best friends.  Not because of. For.
She is in Boston, and finished running the Boston Marathon minutes before the bombs went off. She is okay. But I was sick when I saw the news break on Twitter. I ran to the phone (which if you know me is not normal at all) and called her husband. He is a good friend to me as well.  He told me she finished. She and her sister were in the family area. They were okay. But man. It hit me hard.  Because I know her. I know her kids. I know her family and I am horrified. People died. People have been injured. And what should have been an amazing accomplishment for one of my friends is now going to be a tarnished memory.  
My friend Jana is an extrovert. She is a fireball. A firecracker. An amazing person on so many levels. We met when our son’s were babies. In many ways we probably never would have been friends otherwise. She is almost ten years younger than me. She is type A, 100 percent. I am laid back and move through life way slower. But we bonded over our son’s  and the more I got to know her over the years, the more I love and respect her. We are very different people. And sometimes I think our differences drive each other crazy. But ironically they also allow us to stay great friends.  Balance.
My friend came to Canada all alone, chased out of her home country Bosnia, by war. I was touched when she first shared the story of how she left her country. All alone. Money sewn into her jeans. She has worked amazingly hard to have the life she has. She is fearless. Our son’s (her first born, my only) are still friends today.  I love her kids like my own and I would do pretty much anything for her or them.
By nature, I am introverted, which means I sometimes suck at being a great friend. I’m not the one who initiates things and I guess that’s why many of my best friends are extroverts, because they initiate things and force me to follow through.  Jana did. I think it takes me longer to become friends and I’m not as good at is as some are, but I think when I am a friend, I’m kind of in it for life.  And Jana will always be special to me. Always.
We don’t see each other as often now. I am busy with my writing and she is busy training. For marathons. Iron Men.  100 km trail runs. She is amazing and she is strong. She qualified for the Boston Marathon the first marathon she ever ran. And did I mention amazing. She’s got the toughest heart but also is also one of the most caring and nurturing people I know. I love her.
And so, she was in Boston to run the marathon.
And when I thought something might have happened to her it hit home HARD.  I’d been on Twitter. Saw the news and checked her Facebook. Talked to her husband. And she was okay. Thank God. She is there with her sister and both of them have been through war. And that makes things hit home harder too.  Because it’s almost like we’re in one now. The world. And that’s freaking scary.
Many people were affected by the tragedy and my heart goes out to them all. But most of all my heart goes out to my friend who trained and worked so hard to get there, and was so happy and proud of her accomplishment…qualifying for the marathon all over again, not an easy thing to do…until the bombs went off and changed everything.
I’m so glad she’s okay. And so sorry for the people who aren’t. Because for a few minutes there, it actually touched my life because I was so worried about my friend. And her family. And that really does make you realize how close it’s all getting.
I hope that we can do something a little later to help her celebrate finishing the marathon and getting a personal best time and re-qualifying for the event. It's a big accomplishment. Huge. Right now it is overshadowed, but it is what it is. Let's revisit it later.  After we have time to mourn what and who was lost.


  1. I'm so glad Jana is okay. I don't know anyone who was there, so I can only imagine the terror as knowing such a good friends could be gone. So sad about Boston. my heart and prayers go out to all the families.

  2. It's so offensive on so many levels. My heart goes to all those affected as well.

  3. How terrifying. Im glad she's okay.