Families find ways to remember those lost to pandemic, celebrate those still with us this Thanksgiving


TORRINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) — So many of us struggling, too many with empty place settings at the table this holiday. But News 8’s viewers are finding ways to celebrate safely, to remember those lost and to celebrate those still with us.

At Athena Healthcare’s Valerie Mansion nursing home in Torrington, families greet their loved ones through glass windows.

“Hi Grammy!” said 94-year-old Mary Beyer’s great-grandson. He spoke through a cellphone as he and Beyer gazed at each other through Mary’s nursing home window.

The family dog jumped up to the window sill, tail wagging.

“There she is!” said Beyer’s granddaughter as she pointed to her grandmother.

Chuck Beyer and Katherine Marchand-Beyer are Beyer’s son and daughter-in-law.

“Thirty years, all holidays have been spent in our family home, and this will be the first one she’s not there, but it doesn’t matter where it is, we’ll be up here,” the couple said. “We’ll be outside the window celebrating with grandma and it will be okay. You have to make the best of it. We can dress the way we want from the waist down because grandma can’t see us so I love the window visits. Maybe I shouldn’t have said that!”

Around the corner, at another window, Nancy Regner visited her dad with her daughter, Jennifer Delgrande.

“Hi dad!” said Regner, putting her hand up to the glass.

“My mom passed away the day before Mother’s Day from COVID,” she said. “It’s sad to not be able to be together on the holidays. So we do our best.”

Dad is 91.

“If we couldn’t see him that would be nothing. So we’re grateful for that.”

Asked what they’re thankful for this Thanksgiving, Regner replied, “Thankful for what you have. No matter how big or how little. It’s important.”

Her daughter agreed. “Yep. Don’t need big gatherings to show your family that you care and you’re taking care of them and not getting anyone sick,” said Delgrande.

That’s also what the Breyers are grateful for this year.

“Thankful for family. Thankful that mom is in a safe place and being well cared for.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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