By Amanda Sullivan
Seemingly everything about life has changed recently. Routine tasks like grocery shopping or going to the bank now require more planning… and face masks.
With Mother’s Day around the corner, some adjustments to plans may be necessary, but it doesn’t have to take away from this special day. For two Fort Leonard Wood families, it’s about enjoying time with their families and seeing the positive aspects of staying at home.
Loretta Robinson and her husband, Master Sgt. Timothy Robinson, a first sergeant with Company D, 554th Engineer Battalion, plan to celebrate the day same as always.
“Mother’s Day 2020 will be pretty routine for us,” Robinson said. “We always celebrate at home with a special dinner, which my son and husband will cook.”
They may have to stay at home, but it doesn’t mean they can’t go outside and enjoy the nice weather Fort Leonard Wood has seen recently.
“Traditionally, my boys get me a couple of hanging baskets for the garden, so we usually spend time deciding where to hang them while sprucing up the garden,” she said.
The pandemic has brought some sadness for her this Mother’s Day; travel restrictions prevent her oldest son, Alex, from visiting from Columbia, Missouri, as he normally would.
“(He) would otherwise come down to visit for the weekend, but COVID-19 has kept him from being able to do that, which is a bummer,” she said.
Despite the disappointment of not seeing her oldest son in person, Robinson said there’s a silver lining. Her youngest son, Andrew, a freshman at Penn State University, has been home since Spring Break in March and will finish the year online, giving her the opportunity to spend Mother’s Day with him.
“I feel blessed to have the extra time with him,” she said.
Robinson said life in quarantine will make this Mother’s Day one to remember, but she will not let current circumstances ruin her special day.
“I plan to enjoy the day and remain thankful for my blessings,” she said. “I would like to wish a Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there.”
Vanessa Arzabala and her family won’t let COVID-19 impact their plans either. Arzabala says for her, her husband, Command Sgt. Maj. Jorge Arzabala, 3rd Chemical Brigade, and their four children, it will be business as usual.
Arzabala said her family normally avoids crowded restaurants on the holiday anyway, opting to spend the day at home. This Mother’s Day, she is looking forward to spending time with her children and husband, receiving handmade cards.
“None of our plans were ruined,” she said. “Our family really enjoys being at home.”
Arzabala said she is thankful for the health and safety of her family, and like Robinson, looks to find the positive in a tough situation and encourages others to do the same.
“I just want to wish all the Fort Leonard Wood mothers a very happy and blessed Mother’s Day,” she said. “Stay safe and enjoy the time with your families.”
(Editor’s note: Information for this article was provided by GUIDON volunteer Heather Kline.)