I finished the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C., in October, 2001, just a few weeks after September 11.

My now-husband had proposed to me a week before the marathon. I remember looking at my ring as we ran past the damaged Pentagon. We needed to run past it twice.

I remember crossing that finish line, greeted by a young Marine who handed me a finisher’s medal who said, “Congratulations Ma’am.” And I burst into tears. 

And I’m trying not to burst right now. I called family in the Boston area and they’re all safe and accounted for. I connected with others I know there, I think they’re okay. 

But nobody’s actually “okay.”

Except for two people, for sure, right now, that I know of: They’re out on the back deck, eating their pasta and garlic bread and sugar snap peas, with their wet little swimsuits hanging off their perfect frames.

I’m so freaking angry at myself that I don’t have any cookies or chocolate cake or ice cream in the house. I want to give them a treat. I need to give them a treat.