It was the peek of the pandemic and we were all quarantine. The city was empty. There were no cars on the streets, no rush hour, restaurants were closed or pick up. Movie theaters we dark not a person insight. We became shuts in.
What was novel at first became frightening. The news channels and social media was death ridden. Hundreds and thousands of people were dying all across the world. The image of bodies piled up stored in refrigerated trucks was heart wrenching.
Hospital personnel were in a living hell on earth. Professionals were working around the clock, supply-less. Growing Numb to death yet nurses were putting phones to patients to talk with loved ones while holding hands as people died alone.
The pandemonium was around us, while politics ran chaotic throwing the world into a vortex of fear. I grew afraid.
Right before the start of the pandemic my Mother was failing living in her condo. While her caregiver held everything together, it just wasn’t enough for Mom to be safe living alone. The time had come for an Assisted Living.
My brother and I were on a mission to find the perfect new home for Mom. Tour after tour we found the perfect little apartment inside an Assisted Living. A place we thought she would enjoy and be comfortable.
With the help of friends, Mom’s Angel caregiver Donna and the Grace of God she was packed and ready to move So my husband, brother and I moved her to her next journey.
As we arrived at the Assisted Living it just went on Lockdown meaning we had that one day to move Mom in, unpack her and get her settled. Just one.
She would be locked down to her room and we couldn’t visit her indefinitely. Our worst nightmare. Yet, Mom held her head high and was determined to make her new home work.
Meanwhile the Pandemic soared around the world. Suddenly the monster hit home. We were now in lockdown indefinitely. We were quarantined. Home bound, school, work ordering suppliers online and Zoom became our communication with human life.
Mom learned to Zoom. Daniel and I would host Zoom visits at least weekly with Mom and our sister Diane. They both felt destine to never see one another again. A feeling that became a reality.
Weeks passed, then months and we couldn’t see Mom face-to-face. We grew sad. She grew lonely. I tried to negotiate, but this time not one of my skills would change the fact that would couldn’t have human contact.
Mom had heard a rumor that some residents were having “window” visits.
Lord have mercy on us, what’s a window visit? Would it be like a jail visit though unbreakable glass with a speaker? Would we have to pick up a rotary phone to communicate through glass? Could we hold hands? These questions haunted me for nights.
Daniel, I and the boys gathered outside the assisted living front window. I called Mom and we stayed on a cell phone to talk through the and pains of glass. The boys were chatting Mom up she laughed and smiled as I fought and overwhelming emotions and sadness. I held back the tears but image of seeing my Mom through glass haunts me today. I fought back the tears until I was in the car. Who would guess the last time I saw her would be through this glass.
I sobbed and snot cried uncontrollably. Our boys Barrett 8 and Adler 7 at the time did and intervention from the back seat.
Papa, Papa what’s wrong why are you crying.? Speechless I couldn’t answer. They keep on questioning me as if I was with a crisis counselors.
Are you sad because you miss your Mom. Are you afraid you won’t see her again?
I liked seeing Nana even though it was at the window. She was happy to see us, Barrett said.
Papa why you crying we will come back.
Barrett continued: Papa you should think good things. Remember her smiling face and laugh. Think about when we can see her again. Think of some good things.
Adler : Daddy we need to stop and get Papa ice cream. That is his favorite so he can feel better. So we did and for that moment an 8 and 7 year of put their Papa back together from a window visit with my Mom.
I miss you Mom.