Lowcountry Strong: Families make most of balcony conversations and celebrations

Updated: Apr. 14, 2020 at 6:44 AM EDT
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MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCSC) - As families try their best to stay connected in a time of quarantine and isolation, at a Mount Pleasant senior living facility are visiting their loved ones from balconies.

Julia Keating’s mother, Kay Lawrence, lives on the second floor at Somerby.

“We come over and I actually walk my dog and sometimes my children come with me and we come over and make the most of it,” Keating said. “Even though we’re apart and we’re distanced, physically, we’re not disconnected."

Two weeks ago, the Keating family planned a surprise party for Lawrence’s birthday.

“We weren’t sure how we were going to celebrate, but we wanted to make it very special," Keating said.

The family went to Somerby with decorations and even FaceTimed with several other family members so they could sing and celebrate.

“It’s new, it’s different," Lawrence said from her balcony. "But it works! We are able to carry on conversations.”

This week she told the family she’s been working on a scrapbook for her granddaughter’s graduation and has fallen in love with the game, Rummikub.

Lawrence’s granddaughter, Katherine Keating, said they are making the most of the situation.

“Before quarantine, I liked coming to my grandma’s house and having dinner with her and meeting her friends and hearing their stories," she said. “After quarantine, we kind of had to adjust some things... but we do the same thing we always did, just share our days with her."

The family is glad they live nearby so they can still create memories even from the ground level.

“You have to find different ways of showing how much you love someone,” granddaughter Caroline Keating said.

“It was definitely a different birthday, and sometimes different is great,” Julie said.

The family said the staff at Somerby has been great and they are glad Lawrence has a safe place to quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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