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'Don't gather family for Thanksgiving,' urge daughters who lost mother to COVID-19

"Don't have a big gathering because it's better to lose one Thanksgiving and have the rest of them with your family,” said Glenda Flowers, who lost her mom in July.

Norma and Billy Flowers had a love affair that spanned 68 years, but in her final moments they couldn't be together.

"He loved my mom so much,” said daughter Glenda Flowers.

Billy and some of the couples seven children had to say goodbye to Norma over the phone. She died from the novel coronavirus in July. 

On video of a Facetime call, one of her daughters is heard saying, "There's my beautiful mother. There she is. Hi Mom. If you can hear us, we love you."

Two of her daughters wrapped in protective gear were allowed at Norma’s bedside and held her hand as she passed.

"We got to stay with her until the very end and that was probably the hardest thing,” said daughter Brenda Mask.

The daughters who were with their mom when she died missed her funeral because they had to quarantine.

“We chose to go in there and be with her in her last moments,” said Mask.

They shared their intimate videos because they want people to know the reality of COVID and to encourage families not to gather for Thanksgiving.

"Don't have a big gathering because it's better to lose one Thanksgiving and have the rest of them with your family,” said Flowers.

The Flowers family says they too are used to huge family gatherings with 60 or more people but won't get together this year.

“We look forward to next Thanksgiving and those hugs will feel even better next year,” said Kristin Holt, daughter.

The Flowers family says the novel coronavirus stole their holiday joy and they pray people listen to their story and keep their families safe.

RELATED: Tips for safely celebrating Thanksgiving amid COVID-19 pandemic

Holiday guidelines during COVID-19

Dallas County recommendations

Dallas County officials are recommending having a virtual Thanksgiving.

If you really want to get together, quarantine for 14 days. You have to start by November 12.

Limit the number of people in the kitchen and consider having only one person serve the meal to avoid sharing serving utensils

Move the festivities outside and spread out.

Most importantly wear masks and wash your hands.

Tarrant County recommendations

Tarrant County officials suggest limiting indoor Thanksgiving gatherings to just 6 people this year.

The county recommends outdoor gatherings that should not exceed 10 people.

They also recommend a virtual Thanksgiving with extended family.

Denton County recommendations

Denton County did not make its own recommendations, but encouraged residents to follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control. 

That guidance includes limiting the number of guests as much as possible, hosting outside instead of inside, and requiring people to wear masks. 

RELATED: Full guidance from the CDC

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