Again, no running. I was a little worried about not running, but figured I was on a good taper, right? When we woke up, the Easter bunny had visited and left us a trail of peeps through the hotel. How fun!! Lowell had seriously packed almost a full suitcase of peeps just to surprise us. I am so blessed to have Lowell and Terry (my two running dads - they are exactly my dad's age and my dad never saw me run...I started after he'd passed. Actually, Terry is 3 days younger than my dad!) in my life and to spend incredible experiences with them.
Our intentions for Sunday were to go to the blessing of the athletes at Old South Church. They have 2 services at 9 and 11. Then, we were going to go to Sacrament meeting at the Boston ward that our hotel was in at 1:00. This was Easter. I was SO excited for the blessing. Last year it was an incredible service and I knew with the scarf project and last years events as well as the holiday, I just knew it was going to be unforgettable. When we got there at 9:30 there was already a line of at least 50 people for the 11:00 service! WOW! We took turns waiting in line, because it was cold...so cold! I was really worried, because I'd brought lots of spring clothes and it had been so cold and it just kept getting colder and colder. My special tank and outfit that I'd ordered and the company special sent my skirt TO Boston because it wasn't going to get to me at home in time...I wanted to wear it! But, if it was going to be 35 degrees I'd freeze. Anyway, small worries on a great day.
We finally got into the Church and got our seats, they were perfect seats. The service was incredible. Oh wow was it incredible! When they had the volunteers come out for the blessing of the athletes with the scarves it was so moving. You could truly feel the love and courage that the community was sending as a blessing to all of us. Especially after last year. Having the strength to come back and not let the darkness take over. It was palpable how much the city put on the athletes to bring back this celebration, to rescue it and to restore the glory that is Boston. I was so glad that I had taken the time to go and to participate.
During the service, Bret had gotten a text that it was Stake Conference at 11:00 and that there were no LDS services at 1:00, but she had talked to the bishop a few weeks earlier and he'd said yes they were having services. We thought maybe it was a different Stake or something so we decided to go and try and attend LDS services anyway. We took the train and walked about 1/2 mile to the church and as we got there, we couldn't see any cars or people crowding in and going to services, so we knew that it had been Stake conference and we'd missed it. While we were discussing what to do now, a family came out of the church. Heidi Neuffer and her family had made the same assumption we had and tried to attend services at 1:00...with no luck. She said that a Bishop and his counselor and their families were inside cleaning up and offered to do sacrament for them, but knowing it was a holiday and they'd already been through services we wanted them to be able go home and enjoy the rest of the day with their families. As we were discussing this 3 girls climbed out of a taxi...again wanting the 1:00 services. They'd come straight from the airport. Then another 4 people came. We finally decided that since there were so many of us now that maybe they'd still be willing to do the sacrament.
We went inside and asked and they were gracious enough to comply and continue to serve us despite a day full of service, away from family anyway. The service was short and sweet. Opening prayer and song, Sacrament, closing song and prayer. But the spirit in that room was immense. I've never felt it so strong. All the glamour and beauty of the church during the Blessing of the athletes was incredible. But that day I learned that I don't need a full orchestra, orators, stained glass, beautiful voices or any of the pomp to feel the spirit. The spirit was so strong in that simple service and simple building that there wasn't a dry eye in the audience. We all were just simply moved by the generousity, compassion and spirit that attended that meeting. That is something I cant ever deny. I won't. That day my testimony grew. I was excited for the pomp and circumstance, but the simplicity of the spirit was what I needed. I'm grateful that Bret was willing to go despite knowing it was Stake conference, becaue this was an experience I will always treasure. Even if it did make me miss my kids and family even more. I needed that. Even if that was the only reason I went to Boston this year, to experience that, it was worth it.
The rest of the afternoon we relaxed, I attempted to be in the Utah picture at the finish line, but everyone went about 50yds away from the finish line and I couldn't find anyone and missed the picture...blah. Whatever. It was still good to see many of my local peeps and chat a bit.
Then I met the group at Fillipios. The mafia grandma! Oh so good. We then went back to the hotel and got ready for the next morning...the big day. Oh man. Nerves setting in! I had a small breakdown and Terry and Bret were incredible to listen to my whining and help me through my missing of my family and overall crazy. I'm so grateful for wonderful friends and the people in life that support me and help lift me at my lowest. Thanks :)