Excruciating months of uncertainty have finally come to an end with one Griffith family reunited after the Victorian border opened Monday. Lisa and Michael Taliano had not seen their daughters in eight months until Monday's emotional reunion when the family was able to see each other for the first time since March.
When it was announced at the beginning of November that the border would reopen, Lisa Taliano said her daughters were emotional but skeptical.
"We were all excited. Simone cried and Elise said she'll believe it when it happens," Mrs Taliano said who, along with her husband Michael, drove down to Melbourne for a whirlwind 24 hour trip on Monday.
"It's been challenging as a family not being able to physically be together for most of 2020.
"Milestones missed won't be regained, but on a positive note regardless we are still connected speaking or sharing what's going on several times a week. I think that was the key to staying the course."
The Taliano family welcomed a new grand daughter in June this year, however both their daughters are still yet to meet their niece.
"It was much more challenging for our girls in such a long lockdown, a time no one could expect would occur," Mrs Taliano said.
"Reuniting was great and exciting and strangely time melts and our connection is the same."
Griffith has been relatively sheltered from the horror that COVID has caused in other parts of the country. Elise Taliano, who lives in Melbourne has felt that much of her identity has been lost as the strict lockdown resulted in her whole industry being closed down.
"As a deejay, not being able to play music and connect with people was the biggest struggle," Miss Taliano said.
"But on the positive side of things I was able to spend a lot more time focusing on making music and was fortunate to live with family and housemates during the period which made it a lot easier.
"Not seeing mum really sucked but there's always a sweet ending to the bitterness as we all finally got to enjoy some time together and a wine of course!"
The Taliano family look forward to catching up again at Christmas time come December holidays. After such a challenging year, being together will be all the Christmas gift they need.
"I think this time has taught us we are resilient and how valuable having each other is. Now we are looking forward to a beautiful Christmas together," Mrs Taliano said.