Families drive by retirement community to with loved ones a happy Mother’s Day

As people around the world celebrate Mother's Day today, some Houstonians are trying to make their loved ones feel extra special -- all while staying safe.

This Mother's Day is no doubt a little different than years past, especially for those of us who are celebrating moms that are elderly or considered high-risk for contracting COVID-19.

But that's not stopping the families of one assisted living facility here in the Houston area from going all out to celebrate. 

Equipped with elaborate banners, balloons, and party streamers, roughly 80 vehicles met at a nearby parking lot to sort out their sneaky logistics. Then, one by one, the group drove by The Delaney at South Shore in League City for a surprise Mother's Day's Parade this weekend.

The assisted and memory care living facility houses more than 150 residents, many of whom were seated outside to enjoy the beautiful weather and catch a glimpse of their families and loved ones.

Some people drove hours just to say hi for a few seconds.

"There were families that were willing to travel from three and four hours away just to have that little drive-by moment and put a smile on their mom's face and just bring some joy. So we had an overwhelming response, we e-mailed them with a week's notice," said Heidi Haight, the Executive Director of The Delaney at South Shore. 

Haight helped organized the Mother's Day parade. She said some residents like 91-year-old Miss Dolores Walton was so ecstatic to see her loved ones, she stood up from her wheelchair just to make sure they saw her when they drove by. 

"This is a hard time for them. They are a little lonely just from not being able to spend those times with their families. We just want them to know how very much we love them and honor them," Haight said. 

Aside from pre-scheduled, social distance visits, life at The Delaney has been starkly different the last few months during the COVID-19 pandemic. Haight said the senior residents have been mostly isolated in their individual rooms, as their dining rooms and common areas have been closed through the pandemic. 

Even though it was just a few minutes out of each family's weekend, that brief amount of time was enough to lift the senior's spirits up and keep them beaming from ear-to-ear. This parade meant everything to them.

"We thank the families that came and because they really added so much to the days and just to the spirit of their loved one," Haight said.