Heartwarming, tearful reunions as Atlantic bubble brings families together

There were countless tearful hugs today across Prince Edward Island as many families came together again after roughly four months of separation. 

Many families separated by travel restrictions took the first chance they could get to reunite

Joyce Keoughan, from Miramichi, N.B., holds her newborn granddaughter for the first time. (Laura Lindsay)

There were countless tearful hugs today across Prince Edward Island as many families came together again after roughly four months of separation. 

For Laura Lindsay and her mother Joyce Keoughan, it was extra special. Keoughan, who lives in Miramichi, New Brunswick, was able to meet her granddaughter for the first time when the Atlantic bubble went into effect July 3. 

"I was so afraid it wasn't gonna happen," Keoughan said.  "So I'm very grateful and thankful that I was able to come."

"It was pretty emotional," said Lindsay. "It was pretty special."

Lindsay's daughter, Emma, was born in May, and Keoughan had planned to be in P.E.I. for the birth. 

"It was definitely a huge disappointment that she wasn't able to be here," Lindsay told CBC from her home in Cornwall. 

Now the family plans to make up for lost time with a weekend full of activities. 

Video chat 'just not the same'

Kristie Simpson, who lives in Stratford, got the chance to introduce her newborn son to his grandparents who live in Moncton. 

"It was really overwhelming," Simpson said. "I wasn't really expecting to be as overwhelmed with emotion as I was. I was, like, sobbing."

The mother and daughter usually meet up every month or so and had been apart for four months. They kept in contact via video chat. But Simpson's mother Janice Thebeau said it doesn't compare to holding your grandchild. 

"Not the same as when you get to get hold of them and just want to squeeze them," she said. 

"You can just feel your heart just coming up in your throat … and then whoop, you're on your way to sobbing."

Grandchild's greeting 'made me cry'

Gerard Dugay hadn't seen his four grandchildren who live in Charlottetown since Christmas. 

Gerard Dugay, who lives in Halifax, was able to see his grandchildren in Charlottetown after months apart. (Gerard Dugay)

He drove through the evening to cross the Confederation at midnight and quietly went to sleep on the couch at his daughters house in Charlottetown, only to get a long awaited morning hug from his granddaughter. 

"And then my granddaughter came down about 7 o'clock and crawled on the couch with me. Gave me the biggest hug," said Dugay. 

"Made me cry." 

Dugay plans to spend the time with his grandchildren at the park. 

More from CBC P.E.I.


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