BRIGHT SPOTS: Grandma visit from safe distance

In March, before the state’s latest Stay at Home order, sisters Faye Hochstetler, and Kris Steiner, left, seated next to Audrey Mast visited their mom, Ada Amstutz, from a safe distance and talked to her over the phone from the other side of the window. (PHOTO PROVIDED)

DALTON Ada Amstutz was used to having children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren visiting her regularly the past couple of years where she resides at Shady Lawn’s assisted living facility.

The 90-year-old, who is from Kidron originally, has four grown children, a dozen grandchildren and two dozen great-grandchildren — with another on the way.

Shady Lawn has followed Ohio’s Stay at Home orders, does not allow any visitors or vendors to enter the building, and has other procedures in place to keep everyone safe during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But Amstutz has a phone and a window and a resourceful family. Last month, before everyone hunkered down, she had a special visit.

A few weeks ago, before the state’s latest Stay at Home order, Amstutz’s daughters, Faye, Audrey and Kris, sat in the yard outside of her window and talked to her over the phone.

“It was such a beautiful thing for my girls outside my window,” Amstutz said.

Later, one of her granddaughters stopped by with great-granddaughter, Zoey, 6, and they called her from outside. Zoey’s visit was meaningful because she sang to Amstutz a couple of songs including a lullaby about a “Birdie, Birdie in a Tree” – the same song that Amstutz had taught her children when they were little.

Kris Steiner said the visit was as beneficial to family members as Amstutz.

“I was just thinking I felt bad for her that we couldn’t visit her and I thought, ‘She does have a window facing the parking area and I thought why don’t we visit her from the outside?” Steiner said.

In this time of social distancing, people are finding ways to cope and continue with their lives – differently. Amstutz often thinks about the visit, which she calls a blessing.

“It’s just the things we need to do or can do now that things are so different,” Amstutz said. “People can do so many different things now. Nobody can come in here and nobody can go out – it’s blessing people is what it’s all about.”

Amstutz said her family used to bring her food and she has a few toys in her room for when her young family members would come visit. Since the COVID-19 crisis, her days look much different.

“It’s so beautiful to have family,” she said. “It changes the whole picture of your life. That’s why when they decided to come and visit through the window, I thought that was just such a beautiful thing. I thought, ‘Boy, they’re right on top of it.’ It was so special. I think I cried when I watched them drive away.”

Nowadays, she counts on phone calls with family members. She speaks to her son, Gene, in Virginia most every Sunday. She also is a tech-savvy great-grandma and texts her family on her smartphone.

“I love life because God is so good,” she said. “We can’t complain.”

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