Raleigh families find ways to make Mother’s Day special amid COVID-19 pandemic

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Mother’s Day celebrations look a little different this year as families can’t celebrate in restaurants or with big gatherings.

At Abbotswood at Stonehenge, a senior living community in Raleigh, there’s typically a big meal and family members will take their loved one out for the day.

This year, visitors socialized with their mothers by sitting outside their rooms in the courtyard.

Through a window barrier, the Thomas brothers spent Mother’s Day with their mom.

Barry drove in from the coast and Robert lives in Zebulon.

Their presence is the only gift their mother, Rachel Thomas, wanted.

“I’m 97 years old. You just don’t know what those two boys mean to me,” said Rachel Thomas, resident at Abbotswood at Stonehenge.

Her love is so strong, face masks and social distancing don’t stand a chance against it, she said.

“Being close to them is all I need to see those sweet little faces,” she said.

The men said growing up, their mom would clip a rosebud every Mother’s Day to wear to church.  Barry Thomas was sure to wear one for her this year.

“Mother’s Day means a lot,” said Barry Thomas. “This is the one day we should really recognize what our mothers have done for us.”

Abbotswood at Stonehenge has thankfully had no cases of COVID-19 so far.

They’ve taken several precautions to keep residents safe, which has meant a major decrease in socializing and normalcy.

“There’s still a strain on the residents, it takes a toll one them. Their lives are disrupted, their days are different,” said executive director David Sexton.

Sexton said the courtyard would usually be bustling on Mother’s Day with visitors and activities.

“They really look forward to it and get excited about it. This year’s just been different,” said Sexton.
Which is why the small acts of affection are all the more appreciated.

“Family’s what a lot of people have to keep them going. It’s really important to get out there and see them, talk to them, give them a phone call. It doesn’t take much,” said Robert Thomas.

Even as the state starts to reopen, Abbotswood at Stonehenge officials said they imagine they’ll lag behind with loosening their restrictions to be extra safe.

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