Hugging mom again in time for Mother’s Day after a year apart

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Sherry Agnos’ family would visit the 80-year-old at Dayspring of Miami Valley, a nursing home in Fairborn, multiple days a week for hours at a time. After the virus came, the family’s world turned upside down and visits were cut off.

Last month, her family was finally able to hug Agnos for the first time in over a year and some of them plan to visit her Sunday for Mother’s Day.

“We were elated,” Agnos’ daughter, Julie Rosfeld, said. “We came to the home and were led into a lounge and were told, ‘Hug away.’ My daughter Morgan Garrett was with me and we cried many tears of joy.”

The rollout of coronavirus vaccines and declining case numbers has allowed restrictions to loosen and many families, after a year apart, to reunite safely with their loved ones in time for Mother’s Day.

“We were ecstatic,” Agnos’ other daughter, Margo Ross, said. “It was so frustrating before sometimes because she would have some problem or concern, and there’s nothing we could do about it. The nurses tried but they are so busy during this time. And just being able to see her in person and giver her a hug again, it was wonderful.”

Before COVID, Agnos’ husband Phillip Agnos visited often. Rosfeld would drive from West Alexandria and visit at least weekly, maybe bring some of the grandkids, maybe order a pizza. Ross, a Huber Heights resident, would also visit weekly. Ross often brought her laptop to show Agnos photos and videos of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

ExploreWhat hope looks like: ‘There’s nothing like the hug of a child’

When the pandemic hit, Agnos’ family bought her a special phone with their pictures on large buttons so she could easily call them and they talked often. Sometimes they visited through a window. But it wasn’t the same. Agnos was lonely, frustrated and cut off from the world. When she got COVID-19, her family couldn’t be there to support her and they were terrified. Thankfully, Agnos recovered.

Even though Agnos’ family must schedule shorter visits now, usually 25 to 45 minutes, and only a few people can visit at a time, they’re grateful for the time together and visiting as often as they can. Agnos’ son, Bill Wall, lives in Michigan, so he was allowed an hour-long visit when he made the trip.

Rosfeld and Garrett plan to bring Agnos brownies on Mother’s Day. Ross plans to see her mom on Monday.

The family is looking forward to the day when they can all gather together again. Agnos turned 80 this past year and they were disappointed they couldn’t “kidnap” her from the nursing home for a large party like they did for her 75th birthday. They are hoping by August when Agnos turns 81, it will be safe to throw her another party with her husband, three children, five grandkids and nine great-grandkids.

“If we can do that again, we definitely plan on having a big hurrah again just to celebrate being out in the world,” Rosfeld said.

About the Author