On the street to Cincinnati | Opinion

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Last weekend, Diane and I traveled outside of the state for the first time in 15 months to visit our daughter Emily and her husband Zach. We hadn’t seen either of them in person since February 2020. The tears flowed.

There were tears of joy, of course, the result of the overwhelming emotion of holding my daughter in your arms again.

It’s a scene that has been repeated a million times across the country in the past few weeks. Those of us who were fully vaccinated and given the go-ahead by the CDC led to an epidemic of pure, undiluted, joyous exuberance.

Grandparents were allowed to hug their grandchildren again; old friends were allowed to sit around the table and catch up; Mothers and fathers need to hug their children. And wines. And cry some more.

At my age I became a stupid old fool, but I don’t care. In 15 months you can build up a lot of anticipation, and when the moment came my emotions broke out. John Boehner has nothing to do with me when it comes to crying straight away … (He drinks more wine than I do, however.)

The door opened and there was my daughter. No picture during a zoom call, but the reality. And for a family of hugs it was nice to use our talents again.

I suppose our reunion could have come sooner, but we did what we thought was right. We didn’t want to endanger Emily and Zach, and neither did they want to endanger Diane and me.

Sometimes it’s hard to do the right thing. And it was very difficult to stay there.

After all four of us had made our recordings, it was no longer a question of whether, sometime or “maybe soon”. We refueled the jeep, packed our bags and set off. I almost forgot where we kept the luggage. And I had to check again to see if Ohio was in a different time zone. It is not.

It was my first time using cruise control because I don’t know when.

It’s hard to be optimistic after all the past 15 months, but returning to Queen City to see Em and Zach lifted our spirits, if not our hopes.

The return to normalcy – if this is actually possible – will come in baby steps. The long-awaited reunions are a good start.

If enough people are vaccinated, this pandemic may be in the rearview mirror. And then we can focus on the important things, like the 2022 election.