Kathi Wilkerson misses being able to stop in and see her mother at Good Samaritan Society – Ambassador in New Hope, Minnesota.
For Wilkerson and many others in her situation, the coronavirus pandemic has made contact with loved ones more challenging.
In Wilkerson’s case, communicating most often consists of phone calls and hand waves through the window. She and her father continue to adjust to a new normal that does not include the face-to-face visits that were once so much a part of their lives.
“When I call Mom, she is always happy,” Wilkerson said. “I can tell by her voice that she is okay. I’ll say something like ‘Mom, they take such good care of you,’ and she’ll say ‘Oh they do. Everyone is so nice here.’”
The separation makes trust in the Ambassador’s staff all the more important for Wilkerson and her father, who normally would spend the morning and part of the afternoon with his wife.
In a letter to those taking care of her mother, Wilkerson wrote:
”I want to thank each and every one of you for taking such good care of the residents. I know that this has not been easy on any of you. You have families of your own and your own set of worries. I pray for each and every one of you that you and your loved ones stay healthy too. You are truly a blessing to so many and just wanted you all to know that.”
Wilkerson misses the staff, many of whom she has developed friendships with while visiting her mother. She also misses the fellow residents she’d come to know on those visits.
The acts of kindness by the staff, in addition to the daily commitment to keeping the Ambassador community and the location clean and safe, have definitely left an impression.
“When I see my mom through the window, I can see all the notes and pictures I’ve sent her that they’ve posted on her walls,” Wilkerson said. “They read the notes to my mom. It’s just so nice to see that, especially when I can’t be with her.”
When Wilkerson calls, the staff will often ask about her father. He’s well-known within the community because of his daily visits. One day music therapist Kiran Dahlin and Wilkerson’s mother videotaped the pair of them signing “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” and sent it to Wilkerson to show to her father.
“He listens to it every day,” Wilkerson said. “It’s so sweet.”
It’s an example of kindness that helps bridge the unavoidable gaps caused by the pandemic. It is why Wilkerson knows her mother is in the right place.
“They’re all so sweet,” she said. “I miss everyone up there. I’m so glad that staff is caring for my mother. They’re doing a fantastic job.”