“I am… I will never forget…” — My Boston Story

I am a journalist; words are my thing. Yet, since the day two bombs rattled my city exactly one year ago, I’ve struggled to find the perfect words to describe both my love and my hurt for a city founded on bricks. While the writer in me has been itching to find resolve in piecing together my story, something that hit so close to the heart seemed almost impossible to express.

Yesterday I stumbled upon a BU Today article titled, “BU Remembers,” where members of the BU community shared their marathon story through an “I am… I will never forget…” format. “I will never forget” accepts what happened and takes the first step towards the healing of one’s heart and soul as they look these moments in the eye and recognize their impact, their effect on one’s lifelong story.

And so, one year later, here are mine.

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I am… Kayla Canne; Boston University, COM 2016

I will never forget… the sun shining brighter than ever on the morning of my first ever Boston Marathon. Letting the infectious spirit of a marathon seep into the deepest parts of my soul as I cheered on hundreds of complete strangers with a thousand other complete strangers, the entire time feeling as if I were surrounded by friends and family. A new level of happy that united a community in a way I had never seen before — and being honored to be a part of it.

I will never forget… promising a friend out of pure inspiration that, “I’m going to run the Boston Marathon someday,” and believing every second of it even as I remembered all of the dreaded ‘mile runs’ I managed to avoid in high school.

I will never forget… the sight of a dozen police officers taking off on foot the second we arrived back in Kenmore Square, fleeing towards the route we had just left minutes before. The level of uneasiness, uncertainty, and helplessness that came when the word “bomb” was introduced.

 

I am… Kayla Rose; Daughter

I will never forget… trying to explain a terrorist attack through a text message.

I will never forget… the distance between Boston and New York. The distance between Boston and Texas.

 

I am… Kayla; Granddaughter, Daughter, Sister, Niece, and Cousin

I will never forget…  the moment I saw the truth in “family means no one gets left behind.” A cousin driving through the dead of Friday night so that two men with bombs and a shut down bus station wouldn’t disrupt a family baby shower we had been looking forward to celebrating for weeks.

I will never forget… the tears and hugs and phone calls and emails and “everything will be okay.”

 

I am… baby kay/GB/KB/kay; Sister

I will never forget… the love of siblings in the days, weeks, months, and then year to come. The reassurance of having someone to cry to at 5am and who shared the pain in your heart as if it were their own.

 

I am… Kayla; Afraid

I will never forget… the paralyzing fear of every BU Alert and “unattended, suspicious package” in the four days that followed. The wait.

I will never forget… waking up to screaming sirens; 11pm Thursday. Not knowing.

I will never forget… the double-edged sword of live Twitter updates. 46 hours of no sleep and no new information, no matter how many times I swiped down and “refreshed” my iPhone screen. A compulsive obsession.

I will never forget… the 100 hours and 56 minutes of uncertainty and vulnerability.

 

I am… Kayla Canne; Boston

I will never forget… the relief of the words, “We got him.”

I will never forget… joining a parade of people on a march to anywhere. Celebrating strength and freedom and the heart of our beautiful city.

I will never forget… to stop and take a minute to pause at the explosion sites whenever I walk down Boylston Street. To remember that remembering is okay, and that it is not a sign of weakness; it is not something that should cause alarm.

I will never forget… to celebrate and aspire to be like a city and a community that stands tall when shaken.

I love you, Boston.

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