Stories: Who We Have Lost

Memories of My Precious Mother

Who did you lose to Covid 19? EVALENA HANSHAW

My precious mother was the kindest hearted person I ever knew. She lost the ability to walk in 2015, ended up in a nursing home, and died from COVID-19 in a nursing home in November 2020.
I was not able to hug her, kiss her, or touch her after my last in-person visit in March 2020. We had to do the window visits which mom never fully understand as to why.
Why couldn’t I come inside her room and visit her like always?
Why wasn’t we allowed to touch each other?
The window visits were timed to only 30 minutes per visit.
She was 80 years old with muscular dystrophy and diabetes. A true fighter all the way.
I received the phone call on November 19, 2020 that mom was being sent to Central Baptist Hospital to the COVID-19 Unit.
Mom passed away from COVID-19 on November 24, 2020.
We were not allowed to visit her, to sit with her, to hold her hand during her last hours.
This has been the most difficult part to deal with as I and my brother cannot find closure. It hurts us so deeply knowing that our dear mother died all alone.
We were able to talk with her by phone on November 20, 2020 and tell our goodbyes to her and tell her we loved her and she told us she loved us. However, it did not take the place of being there with mom.
Mom’s name is Evalena Sparks Hanshaw.
Born and raised in Carter County, Kentucky. The oldest daughter of 14 children. Mom was raised hard in the small northeastern Kentucky community of Olive Hill. They lived next door to to the Tom T. Hall’s family (the famous country music artist). Tom T. was four years older than mom (born in 1936). Mom was born in 1940.
My grandparents owned a farm and raised their own food, had cows, horses, chickens, hogs, and an orchard. Mom described it always with a smile and said it was a beautiful “home place.”
Mom had a very special tenderness, kindness and an authentic love that highlighted her career as a nurse aid, housewife and mother.
She was an outstanding cook, a great artist, a gifted musician, and an avid gardener. She loved her rose garden on the farm her and dad owned prior to her going into the nursing home.
Her and dad thoroughly enjoyed raising the miniature horses on their farm.
Even though dad and mom had to move to Lexington to find jobs, mom was always a country girl at heart.
I love my precious mother and I miss her each and every day.

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