Regional View: During pandemic, my thoughts go to my mother

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I am tired of the stay-at-home order. But unlike many folks on social media, my reasons are less to do with going out to my favorite restaurant, watching a movie at a theater, or having a coffee date with friends. The reason I am sick of the order is because of one person: my mom.

The order and pandemic have been extremely difficult for me emotionally. I have had to watch my daughter celebrate her birthday without extended family or friends, my in-laws and mother unable to see their grandchildren, my mother and uncle celebrate birthdays on their own, and more family things than I care to mention just slip by.

Like many of you, today I am celebrating Mother's Day. My usual issue of not knowing what to get my wife and mother has now taken an even bigger hold as we are unable to host a family dinner at a restaurant. This had become a tradition of ours, and I was hoping to continue it. But, due to the pandemic, I will have to skip it this year. (Takeout is an option, but we still wouldn’t be able to gather.)

My mom suffered a stroke in 2014. It was really hard on our family when my energetic, hardworking mother was suddenly bedridden for a number of weeks. It took a while for her to get back to normal. After my father died in 2015, my mom became a one-woman show, still making her rounds at work, babysitting my children, and being an overall awesome mom.

I really appreciate what my mom was able to do for me when I was growing up and everything she has done to make it easier on my young family to help us get where we are today. We even started a new tradition a few years ago of having her over nearly every Sunday for family dinner.


But when the Gov. Tim Walz's stay-at-home order went up, we immediately put our lives on hold to help protect not only those in my household but also my mother and my in-laws. This has been hard for them as our children are still at an age where milestones happen once a week and phone calls and Zoom sessions are nothing like actually being with the grandkids.

Recently, the closest thing to my children getting to see their grandmother in person has been taking extended bike rides past her house. We usually pull into the driveway, I call her from my cellphone, and she comes out to talk with us from her porch. I wish there was a better way than standing 15 feet from each other, but it is how it is.

With restrictions not lifting until after Mother's Day, it will be a unique way of celebrating not only my mom but my wife and my mother-in-law. I hope that when the pandemic comes to an end, we will be able to celebrate not only those who worked during the pandemic and those who helped prevent its spread but also those close to us who are at higher risk and who benefited from the stay-at-home order.

Zach Stich is the managing editor of The Daily Journal in Fergus Falls, Minnesota.

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