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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

Grandmother surprised in nursing home after 357 days of separation due to COVID-19

Little white lies can lead to big colorful truths.

Little white lies can lead to big colorful truths.

“It’s very hard when you can’t visit with your friends and especially your family,” Arlene Hoffman said.

Hoffman, 84, has been at the Cherry Blossom Assisted Living facility for the last year-and-a-half. The last few months she’s been on hospice care.

In the last few days, she was lied to.

“It was a big surprise and I never felt so happy,” Hoffman said. “I’m getting weepy.”

The dishonest party was Hoffman’s granddaughter, Kristine Rhodes.

“It was so exciting,” Rhodes said. “Just so amazing.”

Because of COVID, Hoffman’s family waited to visit and would only talk on the phone or through FaceTime. Rhodes hadn’t seen her grandmother in person in 357 days.

Rhodes visited Hoffman on March 6, 2020. Rhodes had just given birth that January to twins Kate and Luke. Knowing a shutdown was possible, they visited their great-grandma.

That was the last time they saw each other. Then, Rhodes told a little white lie.

“Then we got off the phone because I told her I was going into the grocery store, which I was actually going in the [assisted living] building,” Rhodes said.

After getting both vaccinations came a surprise visit.

Credit: Kristine Rhodes

“When I saw Kristi the other day I could have cried again because I was so happy to see her,” Hoffman said. “It had been so long.”

Proving little white lies can lead to colorful truths to embrace each day and to remember family is all we need.

“We’re stuck with this [pandemic],” Hoffman said. “This is what we’re dealt and we have to make the best of it.”

The Ohio Department of Health continues to monitor visitation at long-term care facilities and to implement COVID protocols. To find the latest information, click here.

You can watch Hoffman's full reaction to her granddaughter visiting below.