DALLAS — For Thanksgiving, Kelly and Michael McCoy learned how hard spending holidays away from family can be.
But for Christmas, they learned it could be much worse.
Michael’s parents, Diana and Dennis McCoy were married 52 years and died just six days apart.
“We did not get to join (family) for Thanksgiving activities because we were in quarantine after we got COVID in November,” said Michael about the precautions and measures he and his wife took to protect his parents.
And his parents did their part, as well.
“They did not go anywhere,” he said. “They did curbside pickup for their groceries.”
But even though their family heeded the warnings and made the sacrifices, they still couldn’t escape the virus. The day after Thanksgiving, Michael’s mother Diana began showing symptoms. Those symptoms would worsen over the next week, eventually leading to a hospital stay and more serious issues like blood clotting for the 69-year-old woman.
She died on Dec.9. Then, the losses continued just days later.
“I could tell he was not right and he was struggling to breathe,” Michael said about his father Dennis. He was taken to the hospital but died on Dec. 15 at age 72.
As difficult as it was spending Thanksgiving apart, a Christmas Day without them was a far more painful occasion for their family, which includes three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
“(Our daughter) is ready to go see Memaw and Pawpaw and now they are not there,” said Kelly McCoy, who hopes by sharing their family’s story, others will keep on wearing masks, keep on distancing and keep resisting the temptation to relax caution.
“I think a lot of people have put their guard down since we have been living in this (pandemic) for close to a year," she said.