Jen Prandato is a junior journalism graphics major and writes ‘Ok, you guys’ for the Daily News. Her views do not necessarily agree with those of the newspaper, The Daily, or any other organization associated with this website. Write to Jen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My younger brother Jonny is notoriously late for everything because he sleeps more than anyone I know. When we were younger, he actually used to fall asleep in the shower before school, causing our entire family to be late for the day’s activities. Monday was no exception.
He and his girlfriend planned on spending the entire day at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, cheering on people who had completed the prestigious race and taking photos of the event.
They were late because Jonny slept through his alarm.
When the bombs went off, Jonny and his girlfriend were on the subway, almost to the finish line. They were evacuated and forced to run back to their dorm, along with the streaming crowds of terrified spectators. It was the first time I’ve ever been incredibly happy my brother has the sleeping habits of a hibernating bear.
Despite being in constant contact with my brother all day and I knew he was safe, I couldn’t stop shaking. My two younger brothers are my best friends and I couldn’t imagine losing either one of them. Along with Jonny, I have another younger brother, Dana, and even though they are both more than 6 feet tall and I am 5-foot-2, they will always be my baby brothers.
Shortly after finding out my brother was safe, I was overcome by huge, grieving sobs. I couldn’t stop crying. The pain I was feeling wasn’t just for my brother — who I’m sure was terrified beyond belief — but for the community of Boston, for the people who call Boston home.
And, that’s because Boston is my home. I haven’t spent a lot of time there because I’m always here at school, but it’s where I belong because it’s where my family lives. Monday was an awful day for me because it is so frightening to see the places that my family and I frequently visit to be torn apart by destruction and chaos. Knowing that it was impossible for me to be there or to get a hold of my family because there wasn’t cellphone reception made me feel so helpless and alone.
Watching footage of the bombings made me feel both numb and terrified at the same time. It was different than other tragedies I’ve seen on television because I knew those places. I had experiences there. Those places were my home, the places where I was supposed to feel safe.
The bombings took place down the street from the restaurant my brothers and I always go to, where we split pizzas and coffee and tell stories from our childhood. They happened right next to the record store that the three of us searched all over Boston for, ecstatic when we finally found it, and on New Years Eve, Jonny and I walked right past the site of the bombings, tipsy of cheap wine and smoking celebratory cigars, laughing because we were alive.
These are some of my favorite memories. But, in the span of a second, Bolyston Street was transformed into a place that will be remembered by fear instead of happiness and accomplishment.
Boston will always be my home, but Monday’s events have taught me that I won’t always necessarily be safe. In the wake of the tragedy, all I can do is constantly tell my family I love them and always be thankful that my brother slept through his alarm.