ALPHARETTA, Ga. -- It was already enough stress to bear, knowing she was minutes away from where a bomb went off at the Boston Marathon.
But Diane Seale had told her two children to wait for her near where the smoke was rising. They'd surprised her by driving up to see her run her first Boston Marathon.
"My first thought was, where are my children," Seale said. "And then I thought, they came up here to surprise me, to give me something, and if they were taken away I don't know what I would do."
As she started dialing her phone, she heard her daughter yell for her.
"I jumped the police barricade and just hugged them," Seale said.
As she went home and counted her blessings with her kids, Seale watched the coverage of the search for the two suspects along with the rest of the country. Days later, her son was looking at his only photo of the race at home in Florida. Then he saw it.
"I pulled it up on my computer and literally my hair stood up on my arms," Seale said. "My heart dropped, there he was in the white hat."
In the bottom right part of the screen, it appears Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is in perfect profile. Her kids were standing next to him before they took a turn through an alley to avoid the crowds on the sidewalk. A few minutes later the bombs went off.
"To think they were so close," Seale said.
But that wasn't the last close call. Seale said at her normal marathon time, she would have been five minutes behind. Her kids and the crowd pushed her to run faster.
"That was my second fastest marathon time," Seale said. "Had I run my normal time, I would have been there, I would have been right there with the bomb."
It seems like too many close calls to count. But they all lead back to a thankful home, a relieved family, and a drive to return to Boston next year. Seale said she only hesitated for a little while about whether or not to go back.
"If I have to stop at the place where the people died for a few minutes to say a prayer, I will," Seale said. "I'll go back and run it again."