On April 15th, two young men driven by a malice difficult to fathom attempted the murder and maiming of as many Americans as their make-shift bombs could reach.
A young Texas mother and her little boy were among those blown torn and bleeding to a Boston street.
"I was laying on the ground and all i could hear was Momma, Momma, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy. I laid down and I said Lord if this is my time than take me, but let me know that my son is okay," said Rebekah Gregory. Gregory's prayer was answered with her own body which caught the devastating shrapnel flying toward her 5-year-old boy.
The price of that protection was a heavy one.
So much of Rebekah's leg was blown away, salvaging the limb appeared a long shot.
Six agony riddled months later and the excruciating struggle wears on.
"Sometimes I wish they would have taken my leg on April 15th because sometimes it feels like that would have been the easiest route," said Rebekah.
It's easy to understand why - 14 surgeries with more to come, a partial ankle held together with plates and screws, multiple rods driven through shattered bone for orthopedic manipulation, millimeter by painful millimeter.
Rebekah endures it all, with no guarantee she'll ever walk again.
"This is the road I have to take right now, so I'm going to take it with as much grace and willingness to go wherever I need to and wherever God chooses to take me because this is my path," said Gregory.
That's because for Rebekah and her now 6 year-old son Noah, the pain and uncertainty that lingered after Boston have been eclipsed by what she calls abundant "blessings".
"It's my chance to inspire some one with my story and my testimony and if I can do that, you never know whose life you are going to touch," said Gregory.]
Like those who witness the survivor earning the title "Boston strong" while
attacking the weights with her personal trainer five days a week from a wheel chair.
"To me going to the gym is something I can control. They call me their 'super hero' and 'Wonder Woman' and all of these things and I'm like no, I'm none of that. I'm just a regular person that got blown up," said Rebekah.
Recently folks at the 24 Hour Fitness have spotted a handsome young man with blast scars helping out with her workouts.
"She's mine. Hands off," says Pete DiMartino with a winning smile.
He's the the boyfriend who brought Rebekah and Noah to Boston. Given what happened, no easy burden to bear.
"We were able to talk through everything and get past that," said DiMartino.
Badly wounded himself, Pete believes the attack only deepened the bond between he Rebekah.
"No bomb in Boston or anything else is going to take her away from me," said Pete.
And that's not idle talk.
Because Pete DiMartino has popped the question and Rebekah says "yes".
"We are each others best friends. I couldn't imagine spending my life without her now that I have her in my life," said Pete, who is moving to Texas permanently.
And so 182 days after an act of pure hate quite nearly tore them part, these survivors are battered, but somehow stronger.
Come April and the Marathon, they'll head back to Boston.
"If I don't go back I feel like a part of me would be giving up and I don't give up!," said Rebekah.
But for now, there's a wedding to plan, family to love and a new home to build.
"There is no room for hate," said Pete.
"Everything is just a little bit sweeter," added Rebekah.
Bottomless faith and little fear, six months after Boston.