TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Many last-minute fliers into Tampa International Airport on Thanksgiving Day received a heartwarming reunion from family and friends.
“It means the world,” said Arlene Berkowitz. “It’s fabulous.”
The South Tampa resident was waiting for her extended family to arrive in the terminal.
“It’s my heart,” Berkowitz said. “It’s wonderful. It’s just wonderful being with everybody, seeing everybody.”
Her family is coming to Tampa from Missouri, Texas, Colorado, Connecticut, and Ohio.
“I have children, grandchildren, bonus family, and they’re all wonderful people,” Berkowitz said. “They’re all good enough to want to come to be with me here.”
One of those grandchildren, Alex Berkowitz, arrived a couple days ago.
“It’s just always so exciting to see everybody. See how much they’ve changed and my little cousins got so much taller than me already,” Alex said with a laugh.
Berkowitz and her granddaughter planned a Chinese takeout dinner for Thanksgiving Day while everyone arrives, and a big turkey dinner for the Friday after.
“I’m thankful for my grandma,” Alex said. “I just love that I get to spend time with her and I had two days with her all to myself.”
Gratitude was in the air along with all the planes today.
“I’m thankful for my life,” said Clara Daigle. “Last year I went through some issues with breast cancer and I’m doing great now. I’m here and here we go.”
Daigle and her husband, Andy, flew in from New Orleans to visit her best friend, Virginia.
“It means a lot because we’ve been knowing each other since we were five years old,” Daigle said. “So to still be around and to see her, it’s just nice.”
After being friends for decades, the two are as close as family.
“We don’t have family, parents, and her children are gone away,” Daigle explained. “So for us to still be together and all that we’ve been through together is special.”