The phrase synonymous with the 2013 Boston Marathon got a whole new meaning this week.
Rebekah DiMartino, formerly Rebekah Gregory, who was injured when two bombs went off at the finish line while she was with her young son and fiancé, reinforced the notion of “Boston Strong” with the bravery she’s shown during the process of getting her leg amputated.
DiMartino, 27, had the amputation surgery on Monday in Texas, where she lives, but she’s shared her journey with the public since the beginning via a Facebook page. During the last 18 months she has tried to move her life forward, getting several reconstructive surgeries on her leg and, more importantly, marrying her fiancé who has been with her along the way.
But DiMartino says the one thing holding her back was the continued effort to save her leg. “Today is the day I say goodbye to what is holding me back, and I reclaim my life. And man is that a good feeling,” she wrote.
The day before the surgery she wrote a public letter to her leg saying goodbye.
Hey it’s me.
I’m sure it won’t come as a shock to you when I say that we’ve grown apart. The love that we once had has dwindled, and this relationship has become a real burden on my life. We have been through a lot together. We have seen a lot of places, done a lot of things, and you have helped me through some of the toughest steps thus far. I promise to always treasure that. And I’m not saying this isn’t hard for me. It is. But as tough as it may be, I feel like our time together has come to an end. I need to feel everyday that by having a relationship with you, I am becoming a better person. And for a long while now, I haven’t felt like that.
Instead, I feel like you are holding me back from really reaching my full potential. Now I get this is probably pretty tough to hear me say, but I have
never lied to you and I don’t plan to start now. What I need is something you can’t give me anymore. And the empathy that you require, I can no longer handle. I love you. I really do. But I think I need to start on the next leg of my journey. So with that said, I have enclosed a gift certificate that I hope you will use. Go get yourself one last pedicure on me and enjoy it because tomorrow…I will be cutting you out of my life for good.
Wishing you the best wherever you end up,
After the response she got from the letter, she wrote an update the following day, keeping the humor and saying, “Adios leg!!!!!!!!!!”
DiMartino has remained a beacon of hope over the last year and a half as she’s worked to recover, with the determination to run in the 2015 Boston Marathon. “Last night I didn’t sleep a wink but it wasn’t because of nerves,” DiMartino wrote after the surgery. “Instead it was from the excitement of thinking about all the goals I have for myself going forward.”