Thanks to the COVID-19 vaccine, 2 girls from Lake Zurich hug their grandparents this Thanksgiving holiday after a long 2 years – CBS Chicago

LAKE ZURRICH, Illinois (CBS) — It’s been a long wait, but there’s a joy like no other for a local family this holiday season.

Grateful to some loved ones for a hug, touch, and feelings of togetherness. Steven Graves of CBS 2 spoke to them about why the reunion was so special.

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There were uncontrollable screams of excitement as Piper McGrath, 11, and her sister Alexa, 8, hugged their grandmother, Cynthia Dorf – affectionately known as Nina. They wouldn’t let her out of their arms.

“I tried not to cry, I was so happy,” said Mrs Dorf.

“I was just overwhelmed,” Alexa added.

The girls and their grandmother spent two years separated between Lake Zurich and Arizona. They were not allowed to touch each other, decorate cookies, or have Thanksgiving dinner together.

Grandpa James Dorf even brought a newly adopted four-legged canine grandchild — Rosie — to the party.

“There was just so much excitement,” said Mr. Dorf. “They didn’t hug me for 20 minutes until they calmed down a bit.”

“We can be a little bit like a band and a little bit like — we can love to hug each other,” said Piper.

It’s a simple embrace the family attributes to the COVID-19 vaccine. Nina and Papa recently got their booster shots and the girls are now on 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,” Ms Dorf added.

In those two years, communication was full of 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 people have. It’s a great feeling,” said Mrs Dorf. “So being able to do this was everything to me.”

“We could have a little joy,” said Mr. Dorf. “It was very good.”

The moment the Dorfs shared with their granddaughters touched hundreds on social media. People cried along – feeling like this family belonged to them.

“I just felt like there was a piece missing, and this was the piece I guess,” Ms Dorf said.

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This year, gratitude takes on a new meaning.

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