LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — There are many positives to the holiday season in comparison to last year. In 2020, many families were forced to celebrate the holidays apart. Now, those same families can come back together again.

Dominique Daniels is thankful to be in the same room with her family members this holiday season, but it doesn’t erase her memory of not being able to be by her mother’s side last year before she died.

25-year old Dominique Daniels’s mother passed away last year during the COVID-19 shutdown. Daniels says her mom was hospitalized due to a heart condition.

During that time, she and her mother were both experiencing health challenges. The 25-year-old says one night she was forced to drive herself to the hospital after experiencing painful cramps. She called her mother for help, shortly after her mother was also in need of help.

When I was getting my appendix removed she was coding and they had to bring her back’, explains Daniels

She says for the next three months her mother was in and out of the hospital. During that time she was forced to undergo open-heart surgery. As soon as she began getting better in rehab, COVID-19 hit.

Everything was shut down including their weekly visits. She didn’t know the day she dropped her mother off would be the last time she would see her.

Dominique says she felt like “maybe if we were there she would’ve fought harder.”

She says her mother was her biggest supporter. Spending the Holidays without her mother physically present will always be tough, but Daniels says she will continue to press on.

Dominique extends love and compassion to all who are struggling with not being able to spend time with their family during the holidays.