On April 15, 2013, Rebekah Gregory DiMartino’s whole life changed in the blink of an eye. One minute she was running in the annual Boston Marathon, and the next she was on the ground fearing for her life.
Since the infamous attack, many of the survivors have come forth and inspired millions — like Adrienne, the professional dancer who didn’t let a double amputation hold her back.
But for Rebekah, her biggest obstacle wasn’t just her debilitated — and later amputated — leg, but her fear.
Now she’s facing those fears head-on, and she’s doing it for all to see: in a Facebook post that’s now gone viral, Rebekah has publicly addressed the still-living of the two Boston Marathon Bombing perpetrators himself, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Since first sustaining her terrible leg injuries, Rebekah has handled her struggles with a bright smile and a strong sense of humor. After her amputation, she even gave her prosthetic legs funny nicknames (Forrest and Felicia).
But this Facebook post exhibits a very different kind of strength, one that isn’t accompanied by a smile or a laugh — but rather, a stoney countenance and the firm resolve, “I am not afraid anymore.”
Please SHARE this story if you were inspired by Rebekah’s heartfelt message.
“Dear Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, My name is Rebekah Gregory. We don’t really know each other and never will.”
“But over the last two years, I have seen your face not only in pictures, but in almost every one of my nightmares.”
“…but I am no one to you. A complete stranger.”
“And although I was merely just a blip on your radar… You have been so much more to me.”
“Up until now, I have been truly scared of you and because of this, fearful of everything else people might be capable of.”
“But today, all that changed.”
“Because this afternoon, I got to walk into a courtroom and take my place at the witness stand, just a few feet away from where you were sitting.”
“I was WALKING. Did you get that?”
“I’m not going to lie… My palms were sweaty. And sitting up there talking to the prosecution did make me cry.”
“But today, do you know what else happened?”
“I looked at you right in the face… And realized I wasn’t afraid anymore.”
“I think that’s the ironic thing that happens when someone intends something for evil… Somehow, some way, it always ends up good.”
“…What you tried to destroy, you only made stronger.”
“Because now you have given me (and the other survivors) a tremendous platform to help others, and… do our parts in changing the world for the better.”
“Congratulations, you now have a leg up… Literally. But in so many ways, you saved my life. Because now, I am so much more appreciative of every new day I am given.”
Rebekah’s full letter (below) brought me to tears. What an inspirational woman.