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Families thankful to be together for Mother's Day after spending last year apart

Williams is a nurse and didn't want to risk exposing her daughter during the pandemic.

NEW ORLEANS — Mother and daughter, Angel and Aria Williams, held hands with their masks on as they walked on Magazine Street Sunday. They were thankful to spend this Mother's Day together after spending last year apart.

"It's awesome. It's awesome," Angel Williams said. "Of course we're still very cautious."

Williams is a nurse and didn't want to risk exposing her daughter during the pandemic, so they spent three months apart last year, including during Mother's Day.

"We all had to sacrifice," Williams said. "Last Mother's Day I actually had to quarantine her, by my mother out of state so since the pandemic, this is our first time together for the holiday."

During Mother's Day 2020, Louisiana was under a stay-at-home order. 

Businesses were closed, restaurants were to-go only, and visiting anyone outside our household was discouraged. This Mother's Day is the first holiday since the statewide mask mandate was lifted. Vaccines and eased restrictions have more people getting out and coming together.

"Last Mother's Day it was just quiet, really quiet. I didn’t get to see my mom. We FaceTimed. This Mother's Day, I can go to her house and sit and celebrate with her," said D'Amica George who spent part of Mother's Day participating in the Champaign Stroll on Magazine Street with her daughter.

Joyce Royal Simmons spent last Mother's day alone.

"Didn’t let nobody come to the house. I didn’t go anywhere, but now I have my shots and my masks I keep on so I can go everywhere, but I don’t go around a lot of mixed-up people, a lot of crowds, because that stuff is still out there," Royal Simmons said.

To make this Mother's Day extra special, her son drove in from Dallas to surprise her.

"We surprised her on Saturday and I thought she was going to catch a heart attack," Damion Simmons laughed.

"When I turned around he was there. I said 'oh Lord, my baby here.' It was a nice experience. I was so glad he came home because the virus kept so many families away for so long," Royal Simmons said.

"This Mother's Day we're celebrating together. Last Mother's Day we were in the house separately. Everyone kind of stayed to themselves," said Glenda Rankin whose granddaughter surprised her with a family brunch at the lakefront.

Spending time together is all a mother can ask for and this year, many are making the most of it.