NEW YORK (AP) — For Laura Shaw Frank, seeing her mother hug her daughter for the first time since the onset of the pandemic was a light at the end of the tunnel.
“It just felt like all this love was pouring out and also that there was like this feeling of hope, like maybe there’s a future, maybe we’re going to get out of this,” Frank said Tuesday about her mother and daughter embracing for the first time after becoming vaccinated.
Evelyn Shaw, who lives about a mile from Frank’s home in the Bronx and lives alone, spent a lot of time with her four grandchildren before the pandemic. She moved there four years ago to be closer to them. But when it hit, the family made the difficult decision to stay as distant as possible in order to keep her safe.
It was a note from the family doctor that cleared Shaw to hug her 23-year-old granddaughter Ateret once they had been fully vaccinated.
“We were all just bawling,” Frank told The Associated Press. “She hadn’t been touched in a year. It was such a moving moment.”
Frank said coming together as a family during religious holidays is the next challenge. After that, the family dreams of Broadway — but only if her mother will be safe.
“We feel very comfortable, given the guidance that we’ve gotten, that we can have our Seder together in a week and a half, but I do really understand my mom…I really do get it. She’s at much higher risk than we are, and it takes a while,” Frank said. “It takes a while to sort of let go of that fear and return to some sense of normalcy.”
AP journalist Joshua Housing contributed to this report from Phoenix, Arizona.