Families across the country continue to find ways to connect as concerns about COVID-19 to impact the United States. Spending quality time with older loved ones can be tough since they are at a greater risk.
A mother and daughter in Augusta, Georgia have found a way to make it work at Thrive at Augusta. They encourage others to do the same.
Claire Wells can no longer meet in person with her 86 year old mother, Clara Stanton so they had to get creative so they could still communicate with each other. Claire comes and sits in a chair outside her mother’s window so the two can still talk.
Wells brings encouragement in the form of letters addressed to her mother.
“This letter is from the lady that’s over all the garden clubs,” Wells says seated six feet away from the window.
The women adapted their regular visits so they can still see one another.
“I can talk to her on the phone, but it’s not the same,” Wells says. “It’s not the same because we’ve got to see each other”
“It’s not the same as in person,” Stanton agrees.
Even though they have to stay 6 feet apart, they can still share their love.
“I look at you and I say mama look in my eyes and I say I love you,” Wells says. “I tell you how proud I am of you.”
“Yes and that’s very sweet and I love you too,” Stanton replies.
The affirmation means more now, than ever.
“It’s not easy.” Stanton says. “I miss Frank very much.”
“I know you do and daddy’s proud of you,” Wells replies.
Veteran, father and husband, Frank Stanton passed away on Sunday, March 8, 2020.
“They celebrated their wedding anniversary the end of January. He turned 87 in February,” Wells says. “87 years told and 65 years of marriage. If one wasn’t with the other, something was wrong. We just have real good memories.
Now, they are making new memories at at the window.
“Mama says we’re going to write a book called At the Window.” Wells says.
“We’ll write our book after this is over with, after we’ve survived,” Stanton adds with a laugh. “Just about the simple conversations that are so important.”
The situation not ideal, but for now, it is how they stay connected.
“I’d love to be out there with you,” Stanton says to her daughter.
“I know, I know you would, but we’re going to be real patient and we will pray about it,” Wells says in a comforting tone. “Like daddy always said– this too shall pass.”
Words to live by now, more than ever.
Photojournalist Gary Hipps