LAKE ZURICH, Illinois (CBS) – It’s been a long wait, but there is unparalleled joy for a local family this holiday season.
Some loved ones are grateful for a hug, touch, and feelings of oneness. CBS 2’s Steven Graves told them why the reunion was so special.
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There were cries of uncontrollable excitement as Piper McGrath, 11, and her sister Alexa, 8, hugged their grandmother, Cynthia Dorf – affectionately known as Nina. They didn’t want to let her get out of their arms.
“I was trying not to cry, I was so happy,” Ms. Dorf said.
“I was just overwhelmed,” Alexa added.
The girls and their grandmother spent two years apart between Lake Zurich and Arizona. They couldn’t touch, decorate cookies, or have Thanksgiving dinner together.
Grandpa James Dorf even brought a newly adopted four-legged canine granddaughter – Rosie – to the party.
“There was so much excitement,” Mr. Dorf said. “They didn’t hug me for 20 minutes until they calmed down a bit.”
“We can kind of like to bond and kind of – we can like to hug,” Piper said.
It’s a simple hug the family attributes to the COVID-19 vaccine. Nina and Papa recently received their booster shots, and the girls are now having their first dose.
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“I was glad I got it so Nina and Dad could come,” Alexa said.
“I feel like I spent two years in fear,” Dorf added.
During these two years, the communication was rich in virtual visits. But of course, nothing compares to physical touch.
But it’s what you can’t see – the feelings – that really stuck with the family.
“It’s the shared, that human beings have. It’s a great feeling, ”said Ms. Dorf. “So being able to do that was everything for me.”
“A little bit of joy we could have,” said Mr. Dorf. “It was really good.”
The moment the Dorfs shared with their granddaughters has touched hundreds of people on social media. People were crying – feeling like this family was theirs.
“I just felt like there was one piece missing, and that was the piece, I think,” Ms. Dorf said.
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This year, gratitude takes on new meaning.