Masks required in Abakanowicz Research Center MORE

Happy Mother’s Day

Every Sunday, we’re featuring a story submitted to our community-based initiative, In This Together, which collects digital records that capture personal experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. For Mother’s Day, we’re sharing a heartwarming story of a mother and her daughter making the pandemic a little more bear-able through teddy bears and lunchtime smoothies.

“This is my darling mother wearing a mask that one of my friends made, holding my niece’s teddy bear that lives with her. My mother hasn’t been out of her apartment since mid-March but she wanted a mask to go to the laundry room and to collect her mail. My mother raised my brother and me here in the area then returned to her hometown in Missouri to run her family business. She was there for twenty years and retired back here in 2010 because my brother, his wife, and their kids are here. During part of her time away, I had been living in Baltimore but I had the opportunity to move back here a few years after my mother did. Even better, I got an apartment in her building. Some people wondered if that was a good idea, but it works perfectly for us. We don’t live together but we’re in close proximity. A few winters ago, she had really bad bronchitis and it was so easy to care for her. I have felt many emotions during the pandemic—anxiety, uncertainty, great responsibility for the staff I supervise, and a contraction of my world. I have much less energy to expend these days. It goes to work and to my mom. I am grateful every single day that she is healthy, that she has her sense of humor, and that if I go to her apartment for lunch, she’ll make me a smoothie. We try to do the best social distancing we can. I’m acutely aware that while she’s not going out, I’m bringing the outside world to her. My hands are raw with all the washing and I haven’t given her a hug since this started but I can see her and laugh with her, and I feel fortunate.” —Ellen Keith, Evanston

See more stories.

Chicago, we want you to share your stories! Our community-based initiative, In This Together, seeks to collect digital records that capture personal experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you live in Chicago or its surrounding metropolitan area, we invite you to share your story or that of your community through content such as photographs, audio/visual recordings, and interviews. Submit your story.


Chicago History Museum Sharing Chicago Stories