Friday afternoon we touched down in St. Thomas, 66 days since we’ve been home. My eyes filled with tears as the plane touched down on my rock. I stepped off the plane, Denver on my hip, Ray on my chest and the thick, hot air hit my face. It was like my body was craving the warm air and smell of ocean. I looked around at a green island, not the way I left her, but how I hoped she would be. We were greeted with steel pans and cruzan rum, as if nothing tragic had happened, like no one there had been living in a war zone. It was surprisingly refreshing. I finally reached my husband, who I had spent over 40 days away from, more tears, kisses and pure joy in Denver’s face and everything was normal. Life was good again.
We loaded up the kids, the bags and the baby gear and headed out. The last time I saw the island was three days post Irma and a lot has changed. I didn’t know what to expect. Most traffic lights are not there, but the roads are clear of everything but traffic, and the honks are still kind. To me that was the worst of it, everything else is a day by day operation. Sometimes things happen sometimes they don’t, just go with the flow, now more than ever.
Beers and burgers followed traffic then to the house. We came up our hill, to the sight of an entire rainbow, embracing the northside. New railings on our porch, a front door and fixed windows, our house was whole again. Danny worked SO hard for it to be livable and so many changes had been made. It was amazing to see Denver find some old toys and see her new bed, as if nothing had changed.
Now we move back in, we are no longer guests in someone else’s home. We are together as a family, settling in to our new normal and more thrilled than ever to do so.
Thank you again for everyone who supported us on our refugee tour, we can’t express how much it meant to us.