“I have to,” I replied, “my mom is still out there.” The volunteer patted me on the shoulder and wished me luck.
The family meet-up area was on Stuart Street and the day before, my mom and I had agreed to meet there in case I didn’t see her at the finish. I positioned myself under the “K” sign. Runners filtered in, and there were tearful embraces with loved ones. Police and military dashed by. Sirens blared. Bomb-sniffing dogs barked.
I texted my mom to let her know exactly where I was. If she somehow got access to her drop bag, she’d have her phone. I paced. Up to “A,” back down to “K.” I peered down the police-guarded rows of buses that held one batch of drop bags. I called my mom and left her a message as I shuffled back to “K.” I watched vacant-eyed runners wander by.
My phone buzzed constantly with well-wishing text messages. At one point, I looked down and my heart leapt when I saw my mom’s name in my missed call list. I dialed back and then texted before realizing it was just the outbound call I’d placed to her. Thinking she may have headed to the hotel, I texted her to say we should meet there.
I set off running.