Real Love In The Age Of Covid-19

Real Love In The Age Of Covid-19

Real Love In The Age Of Covid-19

We are all done and over with the Covid-19 pandemic. We are at each other’s throats over race and politics. We can’t even agree on our National Anthem anymore. I am betting that you are as desperate as I am for a story of real love. Love that is enduring and has a servant’s heart is what we need. I have just the story for you.

Mary and Steve Daniel have been married for 24 years. Steve, 66 years of age, has early onset Alzheimer’s Disease. Last July, Mary made the very difficult decision to move Steve into Rosecastle at Deerwood, which has a memory care unit. Having helped to make that decision with my late, beloved father-in-law, I know how hard it is.

Steve thrived at the Jacksonville, Florida facility. Most of these facilities have great opportunities for social and physical activities for their clients. Mary went every night to help Steve get ready for bed and would lie in bed with him and watch television. I said enduring love and a servant’s heart, right? But, then the Covid-19 pandemic hit. has the next part of the story:

Four months ago, everything changed when the COVID-19 pandemic hit Florida. “I went to see him every single night, got him ready for bed,” she said. “I went in on March 10 and on March 11 they called and said, ‘You can’t come back.'”

According to a directive from Gov. Ron DeSantis, care centers and nursing homes in Florida are barred from having visitors due to the risk of spreading and contracting COVID-19. Nursing homes, assisted living facilities and care centers have been hit hard by the pandemic, since residents are older, often have underlying health conditions and live in close quarters that can exacerbate the spread of the respiratory virus.

Real love finds a way. Mary found a way:

Daniel explained that she tried visiting her husband through a window, but said he just cried and could not understand what was going on. Later on, she came up with a creative idea and reached out to Rosecastle staff and asked if she could volunteer or get a job at the care center just for the opportunity to see her husband of 24 years in person again. “They said, ‘Let’s wait to see what happens,'” Daniel recalled.

“Then, out of the blue two weeks ago, they called and said, ‘Do you want a job?’ When I found out it was as a dishwasher, I thought, ‘Well, okay! I guess I’m a dishwasher now.'”

Mary Daniel tells her story so beautifully:

When the couple finally reunited in person, Daniel said that Steve became teary-eyed and even said her name, a sign that he recognized his wife.

Daniel says that thankfully Steve’s facility, which is small and has only 50 residents, has had zero cases of COVID-19. She has taken several tests for the virus, all which came back negative, and underwent strict training before starting work at Rosecastle.

Mary works full time, and two days a week, she washes dishes at the facility to see her husband. She hugs him and holds him and get him ready for bed. Real love and a servant’s heart. People denigrate being servant. We need to bring back the idea of the nobility of being of service to others, especially our loved ones.

Mary Daniel is too right. We are isolating our compromised elderly to save them, but our methods are killing them. Mary has a Facebook group, Caregivers for Compromise, if you need help getting to see your loved ones. One day or 114 days is too long to be separated from real love.

Featured Image: Stu_Spivak/ Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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  • GWB says:

    I saw this headline somewhere, and smiled when I saw it, as it meant someone somewhere was overcoming through creative love.

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Toni. We need these stories – always, but especially now.

    • GWB says:

      Oh, and I have my Alzheimer’s story, too. One tragic, but full of overcoming and overwhelming love. Watching that couple deal with it has given me courage and hope.

      God bless you Mr and Mrs Miller, for showing me that, after you taught me so much else.
      And God bless Mr and Mrs Daniel.

  • Bob says:

    A wonderful story. Thank you, Toni.

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