My 89-year old mother is in a wonderful assisted living facility her in New Jersey. My siblings and I haven't been able to see her for almost two months due to the novel coronavirus. The isolation and loneliness are the biggest issues. Her health is a different story, but more on that in the days to come. So we gathered the family as so many other families across the country did on Sunday and tried to make the best of a very difficult and unusual situation.

My mom is a 5 ft. tall Italian woman who hugs and kisses everybody. She has an infectiously warm personality and amazing, yet sometimes corny, sense of humor. Everybody falls in love with her, so it's hard not to be able to be close to her especially on Mother's Day.

The elderly, particularly those in facilities like these, are having a very tough time being separated from family and community. This is the longest time mom has EVER gone without going to church. We lost our dad less than a year ago and she is still grieving, so adding this to the mix was tough, but so is she. We all call her several times a day to make sure she is ok, and she always tells us not to worry about her. "Me strong like bull", she says.

So we all stood out on the lawn behind the facility where we could see her in her room, (barely) and waived and blew kisses. A tough time was had by all. But she called me about 20 minutes later and thanked us for coming by. That's what great mothers do. We're all blessed to have her on this earth for so long, and we look forward to many more, HAPPIER Mother's Days to come.

Dennis Malloy photo
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