I snuck up and kissed him on the neck. Just a gentle kiss, but something no one would do except me.
He jumped. And I laughed! I love making him jump. He hadn't expected me to sneak up behind him.
We laughed and hugged. Ahh... finally together. Talking all at once - how did you get here? Where were you? How long have you been here? All these questions that really didn't matter!
Then to look around me and see friends. The family of the other man are friends of mine. I had just been to visit them just two weeks before and said goodbye not expecting to see them again for a few years. How fun to see them there! I hugged them, then my husband again - happy.
But... I am like Thomas. I knew the other one was with him, but I couldn't see him. Where is he? I need to see, to hug him and his wife, too. So we went to where they were. I don't think until then did I finally let out that last bit of held in breath... they are here. Safe. With us. It's over.
The end of the time of crisis, and the beginning of recovery time. I just didn't know a few things going into the recovery that I wish I had been able to know. I didn't take in to consideration what raw nerves and cumulative stress on a large amount of people spread over a few locations will do. That was to show itself over the next weeks. But for now, I was happy. Content. Nothing missing. Nothing broken.
We enjoyed a family reunion. Not our family, but one I love. Such a fun thing to see them (well most - one had to leave) all together. I met them first as teenagers.... now they are all grown up with their own kids. We went to their house and drank tea and talked and talked. Tears, laughter, hugs, smiles, stories....
As the day wore on, they slowly left to return home. The men showered - which was a definite improvement! - and we all headed off to sleep for an hour or two. Curled up in my husband's arms, I slept solidly for one hour. That hour was the last dreamless sleep I had for weeks. Then the nightmares began - every time I closed my eyes, I was in another crisis, and I woke with my heart pounding and my body sweating. But that was later.
Right then, I was as happy as I had ever been in my life.