Moving Mother’s Day Tribute: Drive-by celebration held outside St. James seniors home

By | May 10, 2020

WINNIPEG — Many Manitobans are celebrating Mother’s Day differently this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

That’s especially true for seniors and their children. Long term care homes residents still aren’t allowed visitors, but their families are finding creative ways to show they care.

“I feel like I’m five years old again, doing this for my mom like when I was small,” said George Bradley, who decorated his white pick up truck with balloons and hearts in honour of his 91-year-old mother, Elsie. 

Bradley was one of a dozen drivers who circled Oakview Place seniors home in St. James Sunday, to celebrate Mother’s Day from a distance. 

“She’s jumping in her wheelchair, she’s waving and extremely happy. I’m glad to see it,” he said. 

Residents watched from behind their windows as the convoy of cars did laps around the building while honkey their horns. 

The Walton siblings, whose parents are residents of Oakview Place, also took part. 

“We haven’t seen them for three weeks now. We’re really waiting for COVID to be over, so we can give them a kiss and a hug,” said Steve Walton.

His sister Kimmie Collingridge said it was important to go the extra mile this Mother’s Day. “This will show we’re still there to support them, we’re here for them, and we love them.”

Patti Seeley said the gesture made their parents day. “The small little things we’re able to do make a big different in their life right now.” 

Barb Wiebe and her husband Bob decked out their red convertible in honour of her mother, 80-year-old mother Katherine, who has Alzheimer’s. Barb said being apart during the lockdown has taken its toll. 

“It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through,” said Barb. “It’s been really tough too, her husband passed away while she was in here,” said Bob. 

The families thanked Oakview Place for organizing the drive-by tribute. 

“We really appreciate this,” said Walton. 

The window visits also gave parents to offer some advice. 

“She said I need a haircut,” laughed Bradley. 

While nothing replaces visiting in person, Bradley said he understands it’s necessary right now to keep your distance.

“It’s tough, but we all understand what we have to do,” said Bradley. 

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