Twelve weeks and counting
My mom joined the beautiful and loving Jeanne Jugan family in 2011. As I remember that day in early autumn when she moved in, we experienced the same apprehension that most families do in a transition such as this and expected a period of adjustment. But the Little Sisters and staff were so welcoming, we all felt right at home from Day 1.
Jeanne Jugan Residence has an aura of holiness, there are cheerful faces everywhere, and it is so clean it sparkles! What a blessing that my mother has experienced the peace and joy of this beautiful home for nearly nine years.
It has been a blessing for me too! I live and work close by so each day I could spend my lunch hour with my mom and visit on weekends. On nice days we would venture outside to the garden and enjoy watching the birds and the squirrels.
Some days I would join her for the many afternoon activities at the Home – birthday parties, guest singers, bingo, etc., which keep residents engaged and happy. By doing so I was also able to assist the staff in transporting other residents to join the festivities. It was so rewarding to be a part of this family and experience their great joy.
When I would leave she would always say, ‘you don’t need to come every day’ but I enjoyed seeing the smile on her face every time I walked into her room. Deep down I think she was happy I came every day. March 13th was the last time I was with my mom. She was in the auditorium for a party and I gave her a big hug as she was brought back to her room.
My mom turned 90 in April but we could not be with her. My husband and I made a sign and went to the courtyard where they brought my mom to the window and she waved to us. She cried and I cried because we could not be together.
I talk to her on the phone every day but our conversations only last about 45 seconds to 1 minute. She misses me so much as I miss her. We have ‘skyped’ a few times, thanks to Sister Angela, but I can tell in her voice that this pandemic has changed her so much.
From visiting mom every day for nearly nine years, these last twelve weeks of isolation have taken a toll on both of us. We are comforted knowing the Little Sisters, nurses and CNA’s are doing a great job keeping her safe and healthy but I just can’t wait to get back to my daily routine!
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