The absolutely most difficult thing during this Covid -19 pandemic as I have written before is not being able to see my mom. With the spread of the virus at care centers is it so important to adhere to their restrictions and I am happy to do that but it has been hard when my only means of communicating with my mom has been letters and cards. She may not realize who they are from some days but I know that she gets them. Before Mother’s Day they stopped allowing even mail to go to her unit at Crandall Medical Center. I understand but boy – it made me sad. They just did not want to take any chances with anything coming in or extra people passing through the units.
My mom has also not been good with phone calls for a very long time. She can’t always carry on a good conversation and it often turned out to be more frustrating than helpful to make those calls so I have not done them for awhile. When we were all able to visit the siblings or The Village as we call ourselves would visit and share pictures and reports after those visits which helped all of us get through. A lot of my friends with parents in care facilities have done FaceTime visits and my one friend in particular, Jane, who has a mom in Connecticut urged me to try it. So I messaged the director of her unit last week and later on in the week she set up a FaceTime with my mom.
To actually see my mom and interact with her was wonderful. I was so thrilled to see her and hear her voice. Jane was absolutely correct – it made a huge difference to be able to have that conversation. My mom probably wasn’t quite sure who I was but we carried on a conversation and for the most part it made sense. I made her laugh a couple of times, told her a secret and told her how much I loved her. The best thing? She told me she loved me as well.
I have always been one to not want to impose on anyone which is why I was reluctant to ask anyone to facilitate the FaceTime but the director was happy to do it and chose a time that was good for her and when my mom was in a really good mood. That helped. She would probably hate that I took a screenshot and am sharing it but this shows us both smiling and happy and I want to remember this forever and my blog is a great place to save the memory.
The great news is that Copeland Oaks and Crandall have started a little program called Love Letters where individuals can send via email a note and even a picture to loved ones and staff at both Copeland Oaks and Crandall Medical Center. I have taken advantage of it and have sent several already and several of my friends have sent notes to my mom as well. She won’t know who they are but that does not matter. It is a great way to get some “mail” in her hands. One of her favorite activities in her room is to move all her mail and papers around from a basket that she has sitting on her table. I think it is comforting for her to shuffle through them, look at cards and colorful pictures and it gives her something to do.
So that is what I am doing. I am sending daily notes and pictures to her and to the staff at both Crandall and Copeland. There is even an option to send to a random staff member or resident and I think that is a great thing to be able to do. If you are interested in sending a note to Helen Brown or anyone else just click on this link here to go directly to that page with the form. It is easy and takes minimal time. Thanks in advance.
My mom is doing amazingly well considering everything and it has been a long, long journey this year. I have several friends who have been able to have no contact visits with their loved ones and I am anxiously waiting for the day I can do that but it won’t be anytime soon from the looks of it.North Carolina numbers are rising again. Stay well, my friends, and keep smiling.