It was cool, clear, and windy this morning for the Marine Corp Marathon. Our good friends Julie, Sophie, Becky, and Ryan joined us to cheer on our hero, who looked strong and sure through every mile. While we were watching at about mile 13, I was shocked to have my old friend Steve just sidle up and greet us as if it were no strange thing to bump into someone in a medium-sized city on a very crowded day. What a gift.
We watched from the sidelines for awhile before I jumped into the fray. I hung with the good doctor around Hains Point, where I attempted to entertain him with witty banter and tried not to cry at the sight of my favorite DC statue. Oh, and turned the tables on him, too, as I kindly queried him about hydration and nutrition. I briefly entertained the thought of finishing the course with him, but thought better of it. Fortunate, too, as I’m sore and chafed from the 5 miles I did do.
After joining forces with The Other Doctor (his wife), and his mother and daughter, we scrambled to Memorial Bridge to catch him before he and his father came across the finish line. Whereupon he presented us with his finisher’s medal, his race bib, and a promise of the shirt he wore (once it has been laundered, at the insistence of his wife). We stood around under a bright sun on a beautiful fall day, nearly forgetting the fateful forces that brought us together in the first place, and the way life and death have welded us together.
I kept my emotions in check, only shedding a few tears as I hugged and thanked him for his precious gift. But once I got home, the tears flowed freely as I considered just how profoundly I miss my son, just how disappointed I am that I’ll never be able to take him on some pedantic tour of Hains Point, and just how grateful I am to be surrounded by such amazing people.