Crossing the Ditch to meet at long last

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EVELYN.THORN@nullcluthaleader.co.nz

One woman was finally reunited with her daughter and met her grandson for the first time last month, in time to make a heartwarming Mother’s Day story.

Nicola Keach and her 10-month-old son Braxton Conan were able to return to New Zealand for a visit to see baby Braxton’s grandmother, Sandra Keach, in Balclutha.

Ms Keach has resided in Australia for 12 years and lives with her son and partner and has a network of other relatives living in Australia.

Ms Keach had not been able to visit her parents in New Zealand for three years due to Covid-19 lockdowns and closed borders.

She had been hoping to finally visit in September last year, but was forced to delay her travel further due to a spike in Covid-19 case numbers.

‘‘I was really excited to see her, because it had been so long since we had seen each other in person rather than on video chats and phone calls,’’ Ms Keach said.

In April Ms Keach managed to get flights to New Zealand, after waiting for borders to reopen and Covid-19 restrictions to be relaxed.

‘‘We walked into the airport and were met with my mum, who just burst into tears the second she grabbed Braxton from me,’’ she said.

‘‘It was a really emotional and tear-jerking moment.

‘‘At first she didn’t recognise us, but she became so overwhelmed with emotion once she did,’’ Ms Keach said.

Ms Keach and baby Braxton were visiting Balclutha for Mother’s Day and were celebrating Braxton’s first birthday in New Zealand before flying back to Australia.

Ms Keach said she knew Braxton and his grandmother already had a special bond, and was she glad she could help them to spend time with each other.

‘‘It’s been such agreat time revisiting New Zealand and finally reuniting with my family,’’ Ms Keach said.

She hoped she could come over again more in the future to catch up with her mother and give her more grandmother time with baby Braxton.

I was really excited to see her, because it had been so long since we had seen each other in person rather than on video chats and phone calls.