RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — There was some nervous energy as Jill Jensen and her family waited Friday near the security checkpoint at Raleigh Durham International Airport.

They held a big sign that read “welcome home” while they were waiting for Jensen’s daughter, Sister Hannah Smith, to get off her flight.

Within a matter of minutes, Jensen dropped the corner of the sign she was holding to race over and hug Smith.

Smith had been away from home for 18 months.

“Yeah, I’ve been in Colorado [for] the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints,” Smith said.

“When I found out she was coming home on Good Friday I just thought what a special date that was going to be. It was going to be my best Good Friday ever,” Jensen later said.

Smith’s dads and brother were also all smiles and tears.

“I mean we’ve missed her so much,” Darrin Smith said as tears welled up.

“It has been an empty room in our house,” her brother, Preston Smith, said immediately after.

Sidney Wynn was also at RDU with hopes to reunite with his family soon.

“Yeah, stuck in limbo. [I’ve] been here since about 10 a.m. and trying to get to Miami,” he said.

It was a busy Good Friday at RDU — from the check-in area to security to the baggage claim.

“This is more people than I thought it would be. Yeah, this is much busier. I used to tell my friend you can just walk in and go straight where you need to go,” Wynn said.

The plan for families CBS 17 talked to Friday at the airport was to spend quality time with each other.

“It’s just like surreal. Like, I’ve looked forward to this moment for 18 months,” Smith said smiling.