After more days in a hospital than she cares to remember, the smile on Rebekah Gregory's face as she rolls through Memorial Hermann's hallways is one of liberation and relief.
You see, for the first time, in a long time, she's headed home.
This story, her story, begins with a moment all Americans share - that terrible moment in Boston.
Among the many driven to the pavement by explosive blast and deadly shrapnel, a young mother from Katy, Texas and her 5-year old boy.
"I was less than ten feet away from the bomb," said Rebekah.
The joy of Gregory's birthday journey to the coast east ripped away by mass bloodshed and the worst kind of fear.
"I was laying on the ground and all I could hear was 'Momma, Momma, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy' and I did know where it was coming from," recalled Rebekah, her voice cracking with emotion.
It was her boy Noah calling and amid the chaos Rebekah couldn't reach him because her own body was torn apart by nails and ball bearings that would have hit her son had she not served as his human shield.
"My leg I looked down at it and it was gone. I couldn't see it. I saw bones and blood. I couldn't see my foot at that time and it was just hanging there and my hand was hanging there. I thought I was going to die. I thought that was it for me. I laid down and I said Lord if this is my time than take me, but let me know that my son is okay," said Rebekah.
And he was, except for two lacerations and a memory no amount of time is likely to erase.
"My Mom was laying next to me and blood was coming out of her," said Noah.
At Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center doctors and nurses fought furiously to keep viable Rebekah's torn and shattered limb.
"It was like I was one of their own. They were amazing," said Rebekah of her care givers.
At her side within hours of the blast was Gregory's mother, delivering powerful doses of faith and comfort through each of the difficult days that followed.
"I've told her over and over she is the strongest bravest young woman I know. She truly is. All those days filled with pain, all those days of not knowing if she was going to have a leg today or tomorrow," said Tina Gregory, Rebekah's Mom.
Best of all and better than any medicine were words of assurance from the little boy her body saved.
"He said, 'Mommy we are going to be okay.' I said, yea Noah we are going to be okay," said Rebekah tearfully.
56 days after two men she'll never know tried to take her life, Rebekah Gregory returned home safe, if not completely sound.
Despite unceasing pain and uncertainty in what the future holds her faith has left her free of bitterness.
"I've experienced a lot of emotions, but anger and hate have never been in my heart," insisted Rebekah.
To know her parents is to understand why.
"God has a bigger plan, we will wait anxiously and see what that is," said Tina.
"I think we still have to get up every day and I think we still need to look for the good in people," said Tim Gregory, Rebekah's father.
And for this Texas family, the very definition of "goodness" will always include a reference to Massachusetts and the kindness and care they received there.
"We have seen the hearts and souls of the people of Boston," said Tina.
"We had nurses fighting to take care of our daughter," recalled Tim.
"I honestly consider them my family and my saving grace for the rest of my life, because they saved my life," said Rebekah of her many friends in Boston.
It is a life Rebekah intends to lead with vigor and love, be it with one leg or two.
"Right now I have a leg and tomorrow I might not, but today I'm going to fight like hell for it," said Rebekah.
And while some emotional wounds will heal slowly, at the Gregory house there's an abiding resolve that no critical injury or threat of violence can likely break.
"We're all planning to go to the marathon next year," announced Rebekah.
After all they've been through the Gregory's figure they have two homes now and a big responsibility to live both Texas proud and Boston strong.