Angels Were Protecting Us

As many of you know, yesterday morning I headed to the Boston Marathon to see my best friend, Mo, run for ALS. When we arrived, her boyfriend Rugg had a big grin on his face as he gave me a hug. 
He said, “I have a little secret…”  
Immediately I knew he was going to propose.
 Mo had told me a year ago that her dream proposal would be as she crossed the finish line of a big raceshe had no idea she would even be running in the Boston Marathon when she told me that. And now her dream was going to come true.
Rugg had everything set up for the perfect proposal. He scored the necessary credentials to be don a volunteer jacket and work at the Gatorade tent. He also was in touch with The Boston Herald and a news crew. They were going interview him and then video tape him proposing to Mo at the finish line. After he met with the Press, he told us we were going to stand on the corner of Boylston and Dartmouth, less than 100 yards from the finish line, so they could get a clear shot as she finished the 26.2 mile race. Mo’s parents, Rugg’s parents, my mom, and I were so excited we couldn’t contain ourselves. The mothers of the groom and bride and I kept tearing up as we anticipated her arrival.

We had front row seats in the area where the runners were congratulated by announcers on a lifeguard stand as they walked towards the recovery area. Rugg was miked by a local news station and The Boston Herald also had a camera on the proposal spot. We tracked Mo on the Boston Marathon webpage, so we knew when she was getting closer to the big moment. Then the website stopped working.
I took the photo above minutes before the first explosion.
We were cheering and staring anxiously at the finish line when the bomb went off. It was the loudest sound I have ever heard, and the earth shook. My ears were ringing. There was smoke and lots of screaming. I prayed that my eyes were playing tricks on me. I immediately knew it was something serious though, and started yelling, “ITS A BOMB ITS A BOMB.” Mo’s parents and my mom told me to calm down, but then only seconds later, the second bomb went off. The looks on their faces and the others around me were of pure terror. We were all frozen with fear as people started sprinting away from the smoke.
And then, my heart stopped. Where was Mo? I kept picturing her all alone. Happy she was almost done. No clue she was about to have her dream proposal come true. 
Sirens. Screams. Crying. Wailing. People running for their lives. I can only describe what I witnessed as something out of a movie. As I started to fall to the ground, my mom caught me and hid my head in her jacket. She said there were people missing limbs that she didn’t want me to see.
I don’t know how far we walked, rushing around the city, trying to find Mo.  
The 7 of us were holding hands and only stopped walking to try to get cell service. 
I must have called Mo 100 times, and then my phone died.  
I can’t imagine how my family felt seeing the breaking news and not being able to get a hold of us. All cell service was shut down for some time immediately after the incident. My husband told me he had to delete the frantic message I left him after the explosions. I was trying to tell him I was okay, but it was hard to hold it together. My sister thought my message said there were gunshots and she was frantically trying to call my mom and I. My cousin texted me minutes before it happened, saying “Your girl is almost done!” and her text wouldn’t go through. Her coworker asked if we were at the finish line, and Sam said, “Yes, why?” Her coworker told her there was a bomb that went off right on the finish line. 
We received a text message from Mo asking, “R u ok?” after an hour or so. We all started crying and embracing as we realized she was all right. We made plans to meet her at her house a few miles away.
She was only 1/2 mile from the finish line when they stopped the runners. She had no idea what was going on and just turned around to start walking. She was all alone and clueless. By the grace of God, her friends walked out of Fenway as she walked by. They told her what was happening and walked with her to a Dunkin Donuts where she got a ride home.
There were tears and hugs when we were reunited with her. Rugg was not going to let anything ruin his proposal, so minutes after she got home, he got down on one knee.
She hadn’t even taken her shoes off yet.
I can’t stop thanking God and the angels that were protecting all of us yesterday. Mo had slowed her pace during the race, which kept her from being even closer to the finish line when the bombs exploded. She said that she wasn’t even feeling the race and I truly believe it was a gift from God… she slowed down and stopped to stretch a few times. I am so thankful that we weren’t standing where we had planned. I can’t stop replaying the images of the first explosion in my mind. I was up at 3:30 this morning, too afraid to close my eyes because I didn’t want to relive it anymore.
Who knows what would’ve happened if we hadn’t moved.
Amidst the horror of yesterdays events, something joyous occurred. 
Congrats Mo and Rugg. I love you both.
And a big THANK YOU for all of the thoughts and prayers from the bloggers who reached out to me yesterday and today. I am truly moved by your care and concern.

Comments

  1. says

    What a beautiful ending to come out of such a horrific day… I am so happy that all of you are okay! And congratulations to the newly engaged couple :)

  2. says

    I so glad to hear that you are OK! It’s so crazy to think of the slight differences and obstacles that God puts in our way to keep us from danger. What a great ending to a horrific event. I pray for peace of the families and victims and that you will soon forget the images that you saw today.

    • says

      It will definitely be hard to come to terms with what I saw and knowing what occurred at the race. The people who were coming through the finish line were those that had raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charities, so for some to witness such a horrific event just breaks my heart.

  3. says

    I have chills reading this story. Thank you so much for sharing this. I love that he proposed anyway!! Thank God all of you are ok!

  4. says

    OMG, I’m not sure how you even had the composure to write this post so well. I’m so glad you are all OK and that the proposal still happened and you were all together.

  5. says

    God was truly watching over all of you yesterday. I can’t even imagine what you must have experienced/seen/felt. So thankful you were all ok and sending prayers your way that you can all focus on the happy ending of the day rather than the terrible images you must have seen.

    Jaime
    http://tobystailsblog.blogspot.com

  6. says

    I am so glad that you shared your story! God was watching over you & your friend during her race. I cannot imagine what must have gone through your head in those first moments.

  7. says

    Terrible events on such a tragic day that should have been nothing but happiness. Thankfully you and your friends are all okay and what a beautiful ending to a sad day!

  8. says

    I am so glad you are okay. I cannot imagine the experience. We all have to focus on the good that is in all this evil, as hard as that may be to do. Again, so glad you and your friends/family were okay.

  9. says

    This post brought a mix of emotions to me as I read it. I’m happy you’re all okay, but I’m incredibly sorry that you had to experience that. I hope everyone else you know is safe and sound as well.

    Congratulations to Mo and Rugg!

  10. says

    Wow. I am not really sure what even to say about all of this. I can’t imagine being so close to all of that. I am glad you are all OK, and I think it is just wonderful that he went ahead and proposed to have something so beautiful and joyous come out of the tragedy of that day. Very special.

  11. says

    wow. what a amazing story.
    angels were definitely watching over you, your family and friends.
    what happened in boston is such a tragedy but the engagement of your friends is something special.

    a day you will never forget for a number of reasons.

    -Heather Ann

  12. says

    So glad you are all ok, and I think you’re right that someone was watching over you all. Light comes thru the dark and this is a perfect story to show it. I totally teared up!

  13. says

    My heart stopped again reading this. Such a happy thing to come out of such a tragic day. And you had angels watching over you, thank God.

    I’m sure you’ve seen news and pleas from Boston PD — if you have any pictures or videos from where you were standing pre-explosion, PLEASE share them. Even if you think they mean nothing please share them.

  14. says

    So happy that you and everyone you were with is ok. It really is tragic and I still can’t believe it happened.

    On the positive side, congratulations to your friends!

  15. says

    Wow! I came across your story on Facebook. And that is absolutely crazy. I heard one of the men that died had plans to propose that day. Which makes it so incredibly sad to think about each personal story one of these lives contained. So glad your friend AND YOU were okay!

  16. says

    I teared up reading this. I don’t know you at all, and have only been following you for a short time, but as soon as I read about the explosion I immediately thought of you. I didn’t believe it because I had literally just read your post about heading there, and I panicked. When I got your response I was so relieved. It hurt my heart reading his elaborate plan and how it got ruined in such a horrific way. I’m extremely happy he didn’t let it bring him down, and that all of you are okay.

  17. says

    I have tears in my eyes… ugh I’m SO glad you and your friends and family were okay. I am so sorry you had to experience that and I wish no one had to endure that. So terrible. But congratulations to your friend and I hope they will think of this day as a happy day for that reason. Xoxo.

  18. says

    I just started following your blog last week and remembered I had seen something on a blog about the Boston. I’m so glad that you, your family, and your friends were ok. My dad has a coworker who has run the Boston Marathon who decided on the last day of registration this year that she wasn’t feeling it. Based on her previous times, she would have finished right about the time the bombs went off. Goosebumps.

  19. says

    Love happy endings :) Not all is well in the world but for you, your family and friends, all is good. Angels were with you! Thank you for sharing your experience, can’t imagine all the thoughts you are working through right now! Big hugs to you!!

  20. says

    WOAH. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I’m sure you’re still processing much of what happened yesterday. And thank you for sharing that story of joy within a very tragic event, nothing can stop the greatness of love!

    Also, I’m joining the blog hop for the first time! :)

    xo,
    Elissa
    sparklesandprays.com

  21. says

    Congratulations to Mo & Rugg!

    The blogosphere is such a strong, united community that reading this made my heart sink, as if you were someone I knew personally. I am very glad and grateful that your loved ones and yourself were unharmed and ok.

    Thanks for sharing this with us.

    Yaya xx

  22. says

    The fact that you were there and seen everything sends chills up my entire body. I’m happy y’all are all safe. Congratulations to Mo & Rugg, that’s so exciting for them.

  23. says

    Oh my gosh….I can’t believe you were there. I’m sooo thankful that you, your family and friends are ok. How scary!!! I can’t even imagine. I hope and pray they find out who did this. I can’t stop watching it on the news….hoping they get some clues.

    Congrats to your friends on their engagement!! Sooo glad your friend didn’t make it to the finish line.

    Give God the praise and stay safe!!!!

  24. says

    Again I am so glad that you and your friends and family are safe! :) This story made me cry… I just saw your short quick posts on ig all day yesterday. I am so glad your angels were watching over her.

  25. says

    Oh my goodness! What an incredible story! I’m so glad that you and your family/friends were all safe! And so happy for your newly engaged friends! So exciting!! I’ve always thought that would be a fun way to get engaged, too!

    Andrea
    alhadventures.blogspot.com

  26. says

    Absolutely terrifying. God was definitely watching over you, your family and friends. I hope you guys feel some peace. And what a happy ending to a nasty day. Congrats to your friend :)

  27. says

    I don’t even know what to say. Thank God you and your friends are safe.
    It’s a wonderful thing that your friends can look back on this and see joy come out of something that was so dark.

  28. says

    I’m sobbing as I read this. I could never imagine witnessing everything that happened. I’m so glad that you were all able to have the happy ending to the day that you had planned on having. I’m from Michigan and there was a couple on the news from here that said they were suppose to finish around the time of the first bomb, but then one of them had a cramp and they decided to stretch which set them back a few minutes. I’m so happy that you and your loved ones are safe!

  29. says

    Even though I have tons of tears streaming down my face at this very moment that is such a sweet ending to such a horrid day! I am glad you all was ok & my heart breaks for those others whom was injured or lost loved ones!

  30. says

    This post made me cry. I’m a new reader but I was sent here from Follow the Ruels blog. This was her favorite post from the week. I know I don’t know you, or your friends or family, but I’m so glad that you all are okay and that he did get to propose. I LOVE how he still proposed because he wasn’t going to let evil win. Congrats to your friend, and praise God that you all are okay!

  31. says

    I’m laying in bed next to my husband and tears are streaming down my face. I’m so thankful to have him and it makes my heart break thinking about those who lost their loved ones :( I’m happy to hear that you, your fam and friends are physically okay and I hope that your emotional healing comes soon. I can’t even imagine what it must’ve been like to be there. I am glad that some joy came after such a horrific event :) Sounds like God was indeed looking out!

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