I was waiting. And it was the worst. And then I found happiness.
At 2:50 p.m., I received the alert about the Bombings in Boston - something about explosions. I capitalize the Bombings because now, "bombing" is important enough to be a proper noun. I was in the middle of an interview, so didn't immediately jump on Twitter. It wasn't until about 3:15 that I heard a reporter in the newsroom saying, "Did you hear about Boston?" My stomach sunk, and I let social media and paranoia engulf me.
First thought: No, not Boston. My aunt works in downtown Boston. Her house neighbors downtown Boston, close enough to reach in a few minute train ride. Not Boston.
Within minutes, my smartphone was right next to me. Twitter was on the screen in front of me. One earbud was wrapped into the PC's headphone jack as I listened to a live CBS stream via the Washington Post. Engulfed in new media.
My Twitter feed lit up with tweets saying yes, family members had responded; yes, everyone was okay. And thank God. I kept flashing that home button on my phone in hope for me, for us. Nope. I didn't expect to be so nervous - the chances that she was at the Boston Marathon were slim. But a chance was still there. So I worried.
At 5:15, I got a text from my aunt - "Doing fine" - I felt a weight on my chest disappear. I joined in the Twitter choruses of "okays," watched, startled, as injury counts rose. It was senseless, unfathomable, devastating.
And it made me realize something about that washing wave of euphoria in times of grief: relief. Happiness evolves where we least expect it. Happiness is sometimes greater when impacted by others' worries and depictions of situations.
Maybe happiness is the brightest when, in a rubble of confusion and frustration, the glimmer of light shines through.