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'Bittersweet': NJ Toddler, Grandmother Bond Through Glass Door While Social Distancing

Daria Baricevic of Lodi reunites with granddaughter Gabriela of Wood-Ridge while practicing social-distancing.
Daria Baricevic of Lodi reunites with granddaughter Gabriela of Wood-Ridge while practicing social-distancing. Video Credit: Christina Penaloza

A Bergen County toddler got a bittersweet visit from her grandmother whom she hadn't seen in three weeks -- and it didn't even matter that a glass door was in the way.

Christina Penaloza of Wood-Ridge shared footage of her 14-month-old daughter Gabriela Gia, pressing her face against the front door when Penaloza's mom Daria Baricevic showed up for a visit.

Baricevic helps Penaloza raise Gabriela, but of social-distancing guidelines, Baricevic hasn't been able to come by the house.

That's been hard on Gabriela, who shares a special bond with her grandmother -- who she calls Baba.

"Gabriela just wanted to kiss her Baba and didn't care if that meant it had to be through the glass door," Penaloza said. "They had fun singing and playing with each other for a little while.

"My mother is so loving, self giving and full of life. She is joyful, generous and very thoughtful. I try my best to raise my daughter the same way. Every night, as a family, we pray for the safety of everyone, especially those that are sick, the caregivers of the sick and those on the front lines and for those families who have lost a loved one.

Daria Baricevic of Lodi reunites with granddaughter Gabriela of Wood-Ridge while practicing social-distancing.

Christina Penaloza

Daria Baricevic of Lodi reunites with granddaughter Gabriela of Wood-Ridge while practicing social-distancing.

Christina Penaloza

"We pray for an end to this horrible virus and in the meantime, do our party to keep our loved ones safe. As hard as it is, we are practicing social distancing because we love one another and we want to keep each other safe."

Penaloza hopes her story will inspire others to #StayHome and help #FlattenTheCurve.

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