Mayhem: On my birthday, in my favorite city

The author and her  husband Steve are long-time residents of Massachusetts

The author and her husband Steve are long-time residents of Massachusetts

By Olive Melaya

On April 15, my birthday, a pair of bombs battered the beautiful city of Boston.

Everything I planned for the weekend went well. Prayer meeting Friday night in Gemma Evans’ house, dinner with my husband Steve and my in-laws Saturday afternoon, followed by a party for Norman Laviolette’s 65th birthday.

Sunday, we started heading to church for the 10:30 a.m. mass followed by a luncheon meeting in Nelda Holoway’s house for the Bayanihan Association of America, Inc. I am the president of this non-profit organization, and was re-elected for the third time.

On Monday, my husband and I woke up early to drive to Worcester, about an hour’s drive from Boston, to spend time with our son, Oliver, on this special day. I consider all birthdays special, not just my birthday. It’s both a blessing from above and a miracle.

Day’s going great, opened up birthday cards and a gift of Chromebook, then lunch with Oliver and Steve. On our way home, with Steve on the wheel, I was awaken while drifting into sleep when I heard the news on the radio. The explosions where the Boston Marathon was ongoing woke me up and alerted me. Listening attentively, I was scared for the hundreds of people watching, participating on the marathon or just there for the Red Sox game or just visiting friends. I got real scared when I realized that our guest student is in Boston spending a few days with another family who’s hosting another student from China.

We tried calling but cellular phones could not be connected for a while. As of this writing, he is safe and is inside the house. I reminded him few times not to go out at all for safety reasons.
Whenever one of my family members, relative or not, would ask my or my husband’s permission to go somewhere, I would always say a prayer. That’s how I am, that’s my faith, and the one that guides me in my goals in life. It’s my religion and it’s my belief in God — that made me the way I am — my norm of life.

How I lived my life yesterday, today, and tomorrow, is based on my faith. One can be rich in material things, one can have all what they want and do what pleases them, but all those will pass and will not be carried beyond. People may or may not believe or may or may not understand me but as long as I know what I am doing and that I am doing something that will not bother people, as long as I am happy to be able to do something to help other people, then I am happy and contented with my life. Like what my son said, “It is the right thing to do” which is becoming my mantra, and I always kept it to my mind whenever I am faced with some difficulties along the way.

So today and every April 15, this unexpected and horrible explosions in Boston, will be remembered.

To go back in history, below are some memorable events of this date:
1964 – Chesapeake Bay Bridge opens (world’s longest)
1969 – North Korea shoots at U.S. airplane above Japanese sea
1970 – Libyan leader Gadaffi launches “Green Revolution”
1974 – 3rd Boston Women’s Marathon won by Miki Gorman of California in 2:47:11
1974 – 78th Boston Marathon won by Neil Cusack of Ireland in 2:13:39
1978 – 43 die as 2 express trains collide head-on south of Bologna, Italy
1978 – Great Britain performs nuclear test
1983 – Tokyo Disneyland opens
1984 – Extremist Sikhs plunder 40 stations in Punjab India
1984 – USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk

Copley Square, a crime scene following the Boston Marathon explosions

Copley Square, a crime scene following the Boston Marathon explosions


1985 – 14th Boston Women’s Marathon won by Lisa Larsen Weidenbach in 2:34:06
1985 – 89th Boston Marathon won by Geoff Smith of Great Britain in 2:14:05
1985 – Challenger moves to launch pad for 51-B missing
1988 – Meteorite explodes above Indonesia
1989 – 95 crushed to death at Sheffield Soccer Stadium in England
1991 – 20th Boston Women’s Marathon won by Wanda Panfil of Poland in 2:24:18
1991 – 95th Boston Marathon won by Ibrahim Hussein of Kenya in 2:11:06
1991 – Magic Johnson sets NBA record for career assists with 9,898
1992 – Billionaire Leona Helmsley is sent to jail for tax evasion
1992 – William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy & DeForest Kelley inducted into National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame
1992 – The National Assembly of Vietnam adopts the 1992 Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
1996 – 100th Boston Marathon won by Moses Tanui of Kenya in 2:09:15.9
1996 – 25th Boston Women’s Marathon won by Uta Pippig of Germany in 2:27:12.6
1997 – AOL begins service in Japan
2012 – China loosens monetary policy and allows the Yuan to fluctuate up to 1 percent against the US dollar
2012 – U.S. Secret Service inappropriate conduct scandal begins with at least 11 people implicated

Olive Melaya lives in Springfield, Mass., with her husband, Steve Strohman, and son, Oliver, from a previous marriage. She works at the Probate and Family Court and devotes most of her time with the non-profit Bayanihan Association of America, Inc. She was a business journalist in Manila before making the U.S. her home.

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