This is Camden, my 8-year-old son. He was at the finish last year wearing his “my mom is faster than your dad” T-shirt and holding up the sign he had made me. He never got to see me finish. He was sent off into the crowds full of panic and fear. He listened to the adults he was with and did what he was told. He was brave. He tried blocking his ears but the noise was too loud.
Camden thought his mom was “dead.”
In the months after the bombings last year, I would watch him sleep. It brought me back to the first few weeks he was born, when I would stand by his crib to make sure he was breathing.
Last year, I would stand by his bed and cry, knowing that my brave little man never got to show me the sign he made; knowing my race had put him in harms way; reliving the two hours I spent in silence not knowing if he was safe.
I felt guilt and anger.
Camden won’t be at the finish this year. He said “sorry mom, I just can’t go.” I am running Boston to show Camden that his mom is brave and that, with time, he will be able to go to the Boston Marathon again.
He will be able to see a fire truck without looking scared or watch fireworks without jumping into our laps in a panic. He will be able to sit through a thunderstorm without running for cover.
The thought of him not being at the finish breaks my heart and will open up a new stream of emotions. And I am sure when I get home on April 21st, 2014, I will watch Camden fall asleep and I will cry. Tears of happiness that together we did it!
— Amanda Burgess