Mothers Day offers no guarantees of maternal contentment, especially this year.

COVID-19 aside, just this week, a mother here in Easton lost her husband of 58 years and another is tending to her seriously injured dad. Another dear friend mourns the loss of her son every Mother’s Day.

I’ve learned to keep the bar low on holidays. There’s always sadness waiting in the wings and I’m no stranger to it.

But this Mother’s Day, I’m blessed. Our son, Brian, and daughter-in-law, Katie, just gave the family our first grandchild.

Ella was born in New Haven Health-Bridgeport Hospital early Tuesday morning and the new parents brought her back to our home on Thursday.

As parents-to-be, they lived in Brooklyn and planned to give birth in a Manhattan hospital. Remaining in New York as the COVID-19 virus raged meant they would be confined and deprived of the hands-on help and emotional support my husband, Larry, and I were eager to provide. We despaired that we might not see our new grandchild for months.

To our great relief, they packed their car and moved in with us on March 12.

However, at 8 1/2 months pregnant, Katie encountered difficulties finding an obstetrician. None wanted to risk treating a New Yorker, especially so late in her term. This is a completely reasonable precaution for physicians and their patients, but not at the expense of my daughter-in-law or yours.

We reached out to friends and neighbors for help.

The outpouring of concern and kindness wasn’t a surprise. They tapped into their networks, calling doctors, midwives and nurses on our behalf. Results followed almost immediately. Dr. Robert Deal, who practices in Trumbull, texted Katie to reassure her that he would commit to her care.

At dinner that evening, there was palpable relief and joy, which increased tenfold when Katie and Brian checked into Bridgeport Hospital.

Ella enjoying her first days at home.

“From our arrival to our discharge four days later, it felt as if they were caring for their own daughter. We couldn’t have asked for more warmth from Dr. Deal and the staff during our stay,” Katie said.

Brian agreed. “They made us feel totally safe. Our little girl had a whole roster of loving aunts and uncles, who also happened to be highly skilled doctors and nurses.”

My gratitude this Mother’s Day is profound: To Dr. Deal, the maternity nurses and staff, and to the community we were lucky to join 16 years ago.

Easton has given me the gift of steady, unwavering friendship, a gift I will lovingly pay forward on Mother’s Day and everyday.

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