My 80-year-old grandmother is a local celebrity. She has worked in the maternity ward at our local hospital forever, even pulling a Brett Favre-esque retirement (I’m retiring! Just kidding, I’m not!) years ago. She’ll stop working when they wheel her outta there. She’s a regular attendee at Mass at one of the churches in town, and even if she can’t remember everyone’s names (though she’s way better than I am), she has a smile and a warm word for everyone. She raised 6 kids in a 2.5-bedroom house while my grandfather worked, packing them all into one car to go down the Cape in the summer.
In short, the woman is a saint and I love her to pieces.
Like many families near Boston, we have a tradition of watching the Boston Marathon. Nearly every year growing up, one of my uncles would be running, so we’d head out to Mile 16, set up camp, and cheer until our hands were falling off and our voices were hoarse (quite a feat, given the vocal cords our family is blessed with).
Although I have to work today and I don’t think anyone in the fam is running (though Dan’s running the Marine Corps Marathon with the IAFF Charitable Foundation Team to qualify for the 2014 Boston Marathon!), I can’t help but write a quick ode to Nana B. and her method of Marathon enjoyment.
To properly spectate the Marathon like Nana B, follow these simple steps:
- Cry at least once, preferably 4 or 5 times
- Clap your hands so much they nearly fall off
- Shout EVERYONE’s names
- If someone’s not wearing their name, shout “Go you…” and insert whatever they’ve got on their shirt or another descriptor instead (“Irish!” “Army!” “Stripes!” “Girl!”)
- Slowly start inching your way to the center line of the street at mile 16, to be dragged back to the curb by any number of family members
- And most importantly, tell everyone how proud you are of them.