Christina Parker Photography

"Preserving Time for Generations to Come"

Boston Part 3 March 15, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — precioussadies @ 6:40 am

Today, is May 15, 2013, 1 month to the exact date of the Boston Marathon and today has ended my travelling that started on March 6. I have been on 3 trips between these dates without my husband, Mike. After experiencing the Boston Marathon, and coming close to the “what if’s”..We treasure our relationship even closer.

Mike had a had harder time with this marathon, and his hips were hurting at about the 30 km mark, at “Heartbreak hill”, he had come so far, and his determination kept him running, as he wasn’t going to back down, to walk the boston marathon. I watched the starting of the men’s runners on our tv hotel in Cambridge, and then walked over the bridge to the downtown core. I was seeing the wheelchair riders come in. I had some time to spare. I walked down towards the finish line of the flags, way to crowded! but thought it was so neat to see the international flags, so I took a picture of the flags. Then I went into the restaurant “Uno” to have some lunch, paying close attention to the time, so I wouldn’t miss Mike.

Near the end of my lunch, I heard the defeatening cheers, as the first runners cross the finish line. I walked back, near the 26 mile mark, where a clock was visible by the sign, to wait for Mike to come in, (Orange shirt/white hat). If you really want to get cheered on, wear an all pink neon suit! He ran by me, at the 3 hrs:12 secs time on the clock, and disappeared past the finish line, and into the crowds. As a spectator, that meant I had to do a lot of circling, around the big buildings. There were people selling their art, etc. I went to the family meeting area “PQ”…and waited….and waited” ..then I walked back to a park area where he said, he thought there would be buses to take runners back. No one was really there, other than a fairy being entertained with a harp…and then the thought occurred to me, that he probably went for a massage, so I went back to the “PQ” area (about 1 1/2 blocks behind the finish line) and crossed the road, to see if he was stretching, when I heard the first explosion go off. A man beside me, said, “Was that a gun?”…I repeated it, not thinking it was. Another person, responded, “No, I think it was a transformer.”. In my head, I’m thinking, a transformer, would be “pop..sizzle”.. it sounded like a canon or an explosion. No one said anything, and then we heard it again. The people near me just waited and listen, confusion filled the air. At this time, Mike was also looking for me, he heard the explosions, and saw the smoke from the 1st one, from where he was standing, although we didn’t see each other.

As more ambulances and police zoomed by, then the crowd I was standing in, decide it was time to leave, when the police started pushing everyone back. We heard bits of information along the way, about the bomb exploding near the finish line, then saw a man and daughter walk by with a bandage head and neck. Those around, our eyes got big, and more people tried calling on their phones. First bit of information, someone who had an office above the finish line, took a picture, and said, “a bomb when off near the finish line, and people were missing limbs”. Some were panicked as they didn’t know where their runners or family members were. Later, I glanced on a tv in a restaurant showed a bit of more real information, and that we had heard that there was a fatality. I still felt calm, I knew Mike had past the finish line. He was near freezing walking another 6 km back to the hotel with his foil blanket. Many police, Many ambulances, fire trucks, bomb squads, uncover police poured out to clear the traffic and at least 3 helicopters in the sky. Meanwhile, I’m thinking, “These things don’t happen in Canada.” Not realizing, that there might of been more explosions, we really didn’t know how much danger the area could of been in. Mike and I didn’t find each other until we both were back in our hotel, about 2 hours later, with our hotel phones ringing, and pages of facebook messages asking if we were okay. We barely knew what had just occured. Mike had just arrived 2 minutes before I did. It was surreal. The”what if’s” did hit me, after we returned home, as I was standing near the 2nd explosion for at least 2 hours prior. Thank you for all the love, concern, and prayers on our behalf, it was much appreciated. The heros that have endured their injuries, will for sure, go through their stages of grief and will stand together, to represent an icon, that Boston is Strong. I’m sure as the year passes, we will see more about their stories on TV. I’m not yet sure, if Mike will run Boston again, but for now, I think we can cross it off the list! Boston 2013


What happens when? March 6, 2013

A smile is your own facial signature with each one being unique and is often the first thing another will focus on when looking at your face.  What happens when your smile is not like others?   For thousands of children and adults their smile is affected by a cleft.  Matthew was one of those babies born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate and this is his story.



Matthew came into the world on a warm afternoon in August 2009 with a complete bilateral cleft lip and palate. 

His cleft was on the severe side and it quickly became apparent that the simple things that most take for granted would be a challenge.  Feeding Matthew was a challenge as he didn’t have the oral structure needed to suck from the breast or bottle.  He met with a team of specialists who from the day he was born created a treatment plan.  This plan included weekly hospital visits, weekly dental visits, an oral appliance (NAM-nasoalveolar molding device), and hearing tests which all led up to his first surgery, his lip repair in December 2009. During the 4.5 hour surgery his plastic surgeon fused the muscles in his lip, joined the three segments of his cleft together, lifted and shaped his flattened nose.  For the first time in his life, Matthew no longer had a cleft lip.  His wide smile was no longer and his new smile would be one that people wouldn’t stare at negatively or with pity.  Matthew started puréed foods at 6 months old like other babies his age.  With Matthew’s cleft palate he would often choke and aspirate the food that had entered his nasal cavity.  We stayed away from hard cereals or other typical teething food as pieces could and sometimes would get lodged along the side of his nasal passage.  Matthew did continue to have speech therapy and frequent dental care until his palate repair in September 2010 where the same plastic surgeon closed the gaping hole in his palate.

Matthew still has years of treatment which include bone grafting, orthodontic, and other facial surgeries but until then he is a thriving three year old who loves reading books, playing with his siblings, and most of all playing with his trains.  Matthew’s determination, will, and spirit continue to inspire those who work with him. ~post written by Amanda L. Matthew’s Mom!

With your donation of $24, 100% will go towards operation smile, to help repair other children across the world! You will receive 1, desk size print or a headshot image.   Can I count on your support April 4-April 6, 2013?  Please book your session time at