The month of May commences a time of fresh spring air, brilliant budding flowers, and new life all around. Mother’s Day has always been a cherished start to this period of growth and renewal. Every year, for over a century, this holiday has brought us a chance to focus on our mothers and celebrate them for all the unconditional love and joy they instill in our lives. More than ever before, we are looking to these important familial bonds for strength, love and support. This Mother’s Day is different than in years past, yet the love we show for our mothers has not changed.
Connecting with our mothers, while facing current restrictions, may seem to present a challenge. However, family members of Judson residents, alongside dedicated Judson associates, have overcome this obstacle and presented creative new ways to connect with loved ones this holiday.
Hannah, whose mother Bette is a resident of Judson Park, has enjoyed video calls with her mother and daughter as a way to bring the three generations together.
“The Skype call that Jim Barnes arranged with my mother Bette was one of the happiest events of my month,” says Hannah. “Thanks so very much to Jim, and to Kristine Webber, and to all of you at Judson, for all of your hard work and dedication to maintaining Mom’s health and happiness through this terribly difficult time.”
With the upcoming holiday in mind, Hannah and her siblings have planned around the distancing to celebrate.
“One silver lining of the quarantine is that all of us have been calling mom more frequently” Hannah says. “My siblings and I have made a point of checking in several times a week, along with an assortment of adult grandchildren, nieces and nephews that all love our family matriarch. For Mother’s Day, we will each send a treat or flowers, but I think the best one will be the chocolate milkshake that my sister will ask the staff to prepare! I’m sending her some pretty new flannel sheets, and my sibs are sending complementary treats for a little breakfast in bed. We all look forward to the day sometime soon when we can come together and join mom for a nature walk!”
Jim Barnes, a Judson Associate who has been setting up video calls for residents, says these calls have provided valuable social interactions with distanced family and friends.
“Residents have used words like ‘tremendous’ and ‘remarkable’ when describing the technology behind a video call,” Jim recalls. “The stories continue even after we have signed-off. Residents have shared their life lessons, fond family moments, and beam when talking about their children and grandkids.”
Jessica Kulczycki, another Judson Associate who has been instrumental in assisting with video calls, confirms their importance.
“Honestly, this is my new favorite part of my job! Residents light up when they see me coming with the iPad…they understand that I’m going to bring them joy by connecting them to their loved one,” Jessica expresses, “It warms my heart to see sons and daughters beam when they can see their parent.”
Jessica has also has experienced how families have virtually connected with their mothers to celebrate Mother’s Day.
“Family members share a poem or story, sing to or along with their mom, reminisce and remind mom of recipes, gardening, favorite places, special moments, and update mom on family and call for the grandkids to come to the screen to say hi,” Jessica recounts. “These are all such amazing, touching interactions that could not be possible without this technology. The countless smiles, laughs, raised eyebrows, waving hands and trying to pet the family dog on the screen are all such uplifting moments! They mean the world to our moms and to their children, and we all can certainly use many of these moments during this uncertain time. I am proud and honored to be the third party holding the iPad for them!”
Although it may not be possible to meet in person to celebrate this Mother’s Day, virtual festivities have proven to be a meaningful substitute to interact with mom (and grandma too!). This Mother’s Day, get creative in your connections, for now is an important time to reaffirm and cherish this special maternal bond. It may seem like we are so far apart from one another, yet here lies a wonderful opportunity to become closer than ever before.