Wringing her hands in anticipation, Monica Crane and two of her daughter's best friends watched an "arrivals" board at Orlando International Airport.
- Central Florida mom greets daughter at OIA
- Daughter attended Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas
Until her daughter, Nichole, walked through the gate — and into her mother's arms.
"I love you," Monica said to her.
Relief filled their faces as they finally embraced Friday morning, five days after Monica thought the worst: that her daughter, who was attending the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas, was caught up in the mass shooting on the Vegas Strip.
"There was mass confusion and mass pandemonium — mass panic. What path is going to get you to safety? And who knows that?" Nichole Crane said, recalling her thoughts as shots rang over the concert crowd.
Somehow, Nichole made it through the gunfire without being hurt.
She immediately called her Mom. But a phone call wasn't enough for Monica. She needed to hold her child.
"It's been very overwhelming, and I'm overjoyed right now to be able to get my hands on her," Monica said.
For now, the reunion is enough, but both mother and daughter say it's not over.
"He (the shooter) just took away a part of me that I'll never get back," Nichole said. "Even the sound of a car backfiring makes me want to drop to the ground."
Nichole, who is from Sanford but lives in Salt Lake City, said that with her mother's help and friends' support, she hopes to get past the flashbacks haunting her from that night.