A Mother’s Day During COVID-19


A message for Mother's Day from Dr. Shannon McDonald, FNHA Acting Chief Medical Officer

This coming Sunday, May 10, is my daughter's first Mother's Day. Her son, Wyatt, is three months old and perfect (at least to me and a few other wonderful people). My daughter and her husband are so happy, and now that she is recovered from the challenges of pregnancy and labour, she can get out and enjoy the world! (Oh wait, there is this nasty virus that means she can't!)

We have only seen Wyatt and his parents a few times, and from a distance, for the last several weeks. As a grandmother, it is killing me, but I would do anything to keep that little “nugget" (as my husband calls him) safe. But time is fleeting and this too shall pass, and I cannot wait to see and hug them all, and watch the kid bounce around my back yard with the dogs.

I am blessed with a blended family. (Like the Brady Bunch, but not as clean, and no maid.) My three children—Jon, Richard and Liz—came together with my husband's two daughters—Holly and Noelle—as a motley crew of teenagers. They are bright, vocal, engaged and not always in sync (think lumpy pancake batter – smooths out after a while, but better with a few bumps). Ours was always a home that welcomed friends, where meals were shared and debates were constant. It was also filled with love, gratitude and comfort. Oh, and noise! Lots of noise!

We have had many joys. We have watched two of the kids marry their beloveds. We have been through many heartbreaks and challenges. We have lost parents, and we lost our daughter Liz when she was 23. There have been times when people have struggled, and we gather to support each other through those times. We have grown to be a family in every sense.

My son, Jon, and his wife, Becky, live in Winnipeg with our other brilliant and amazing grandson, Will. I was supposed to be there for his tenth birthday last week, but it was not to be. We have virtual visits when we can, and wait for the day we can see each other again. Richard lives in Ottawa, and my work lets me visit him occasionally, but Messenger visits and texts are the more frequent connection. Holly, Lee, Noelle​ and Wyatt live in Victoria close to us, but busy lives and physical distancing mean we see them when we can. We have a FamJam chat site online.

I have no babies to hold right now, no scraped knees to kiss, no tears to dry, and no broken hearts to mend. No big family dinner to prepare. My role as a mom has changed, but it is still the greatest treasure of my life. I will wait for hugs and kisses. I will pray for our collective good health and safety, and until I can welcome them to my home, I hold them close in my heart.

I wish all of the moms, parents and special adults a wonderful day of love, and new memories. Treasure the moments. They are gone too soon.

Be well,​


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