Staying Connected with Family and Friends: Resident at The Hearth Attends Daughter’s Virtual Zoom Wedding
JUNE 26, 2020
Resident at The Hearth, Nancy, found herself reconnecting with the past when she decided to move to this beautiful community. A retired nurse and active church member, Nancy used to visit residents at The Hearth with her women’s group from church many years ago. “That was back when The Hearth was known as Mary J. Drexel Home,” she explains.
Living in the Philadelphia region for many years, Nancy raised her three children in Drexel Hill alongside her late husband who passed away in 2001. “When my husband passed I thought I’d sell my house and move some place. I’ve had M.S. for years so I knew I needed care,” she reflects. “That didn’t happen, at least not right away.” Nancy toured lots of other senior living communities in the area, but she wasn’t completely certain she wanted to call those places home.
“I spent about five more years in my house living alone,” she recalls. Nancy’s son-in-law later came to live with her, and as time passed, Nancy could tell it was time to make changes. “It got to the point where I knew he wanted a change in life and I said to myself, ‘It’s time to find a place to live,’ and I began seriously looking.”
Finally finding home: Enjoying an active lifestyle with compassionate care
When it came time to search again, Nancy remembered The Hearth and her visits with residents there many years ago. Seeing the community and its many amenities, Nancy had a wonderful feeling and decided to stay at The Hearth on respite for a week. “I really wanted to give it a try and see how I liked the place,” she says.
Whether she’s partaking in fun trip outings, reading Romeo and Juliet alongside the ladies of Shakespeare Club, or engaging in educational lectures led by historians, Nancy certainly enjoys an active lifestyle. When referring to The Hearth’s staff, Nancy says they’re a large part of what makes this community a remarkable place to live.
“The staff here are all so responsive. If I ever have ideas about new activities or places to go, they’ll follow up right away and if it’s a good idea, they’ll put it on the schedule.” Nancy is also a big fan of The Hearth’s restaurant-quality cuisine. “The food here is really good,” she says confidently.
With plentiful activities, delicious food, and responsive staff, it’s no surprise that through COVID-19 the community at The Hearth continues to go above and beyond in finding creative ways to connect with residents while keeping them safe and healthy. “Even through this pandemic, the staff here have kept up with our activities in new ways, which can obviously present a lot of challenges. They’ve just been terrific.” she reflects.
Overcoming obstacles with creativity and encouragement: Nancy gives her blessing for a virtual wedding
Overcoming many challenges throughout the pandemic, one challenge in particular that Nancy’s family had to face was her daughter’s wedding. “My daughter got engaged about two years ago,” she explains.
Hoping to have a wedding that her entire family could attend, when the pandemic began, Nancy’s daughter knew a typical wedding with everyone in attendance was simply not feasible. “Her fiancé got on the phone with me one day when they came to visit by my window. He said they weren’t sure whether to have a wedding because not everyone would be able to come,” Nancy recalls.
Nancy knew she would not be able to attend her daughter’s wedding in person, but she encouraged the couple to go ahead and get married. “I said, ‘if you two want to get married just go ahead and do it,’” Nancy laughs. “He asked me for my blessing and I said, ‘Of course you have my blessing to get married.’”
Proposing the idea to have the wedding on Zoom so that family and friends could virtually join in celebration, the entire family agreed to the idea. Nancy’s daughter, Alicia, and her fiancé, David began planning their virtual wedding.
Married in a church, the organist from the wedding gave Nancy’s daughter an extensive list of songs. “My daughter showed me the list and asked me to help her choose a song for the ceremony. I wasn’t familiar with many of them so I called Pastor G to see if she would help me.” Pastor G, director of pastoral care at The Hearth and Artman, was happy to assist.
"It was just wonderful. I really felt like I was there. Just the fact that they could get married during this pandemic was really something. To be there and share in their happiness was so meaningful."
Pastor G helped Nancy look up the various song choices on YouTube. “While Pastor G was helping me she said, ‘If you’re going to be a part of this Zoom wedding you have to get dressed up,’” Nancy laughs. “So I did.” Nancy wore one of her nicest outfits and even poured a glass of wine to celebrate the occasion.
With elaborate decorations, flowers, and music, Nancy’s grandsons walked her daughter down the aisle, and her granddaughter preceded them as Maid of Honor. Nancy’s grand stepson was also a part of the wedding party as he was his father’s best man. Happy to see the entire ceremony, Nancy felt grateful to be connected with her family on this very special day.
“I think as a parent you really just want your children to be happy,” Nancy reflects. After the wedding, Nancy’s daughter and new son-in-law drove to Sea Isle City and spent the weekend there in celebration. “I wish them to be blessed with a long and happy life together. As a parent, you really just want your children to be happy,” Nancy says. Wishing her loved ones a lifetime of happiness and health, Nancy feels lucky for where she is today and she looks forward to continuous connection with family and friends at The Hearth.