Staying Connected Through the Pandemic

"Growing up, I’d experienced restrictions due to health concerns. I never thought, however, my children would have to live through it."

These are the words of Marilyn Wentz. She and her husband Bob are both community members at Western Reserve Masonic Community. Marilyn resides in an Independent Living apartment and Bob in our Memory Care area.

Over the past three years they have seen each other every day with Marilyn joining her husband, of 66 years, for dinner every evening. In addition, Bob’s daughters would visit regularly, often several times a week. These visits, however, came to an abrupt end when the Coronavirus entered our lives, social distancing became a new norm and a Stay at Home order was invoked.

Separated, and unable to see her husband, Mrs. Wentz worried, “Bob will forget me and our children.” Her knowing she could see him anytime was now replaced with feelings of isolation and fear. But your Ohio Masonic Home was prepared to meet the unique challenges the Stay-at-Home order presented. We’ve always been at the forefront of innovation and started putting technology in the hands of our community members’ years ago.

As a recipient of one of our electronic tablets, Marilyn would use hers for putting puzzles together, coloring/drawing and playing various games. Never would she had thought to use it for visiting her husband “virtually,” until now.

Armed with this technology, the team at Western Reserve Masonic Community made it possible for Marilyn and Bob to (virtually) be together again. This ability to connect with her husband, during this unprecedented time, has positively impacted her life. As she puts it:

“I don’t feel isolated, I know he’s there. I can now see him and I know he’s ok. Masons have been in my life since 1962, (the year Bob was raised a Master Mason) and they’re a great group of people. I feel good and proud I’m connected with the group here at Western Reserve Masonic Community. It’s a special time now! It’s fascinating, I never had a job where I had to rely on a computer/tablet to connect with people… it’s fascinating this is possible."

Marilyn’s words remind us of our resiliency, the bond of Masonry, our ability to overcome and the hope of a bright future. And nothing compares to the joy and gratitude she experienced after a recent “virtual” visit with her husband. As their conversation came to a close she said to him, “I love you Bob”. To which he promptly responded, through a cupped hand, “I love you too.”

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