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Community of Believers

In January 2021, it will be a full year since we first heard of a new virus posing a threat of contagion across the planet. We now each have a story of how this past year has impacted us physically, emotionally, and financially. But as Misericordia families, part of all our stories is the shared experience of a sudden and massive shift in our continuing journey with Misericordia.

We have remained a Community of Believers. But the manifestations of each of the four values (Quality of Life, Connection, Responsibility, and Spirituality) have shifted and stretched all of us: families, residents, and staff.

There was the sudden loss of our ability to be physically with our family member; such as no home visits or visiting. Misericordia worked hard to protect our family members’ health which necessitated various restrictions We wondered how the loss in the predictability of routines would cause new stress for them and their staff and yet most are doing great. Of course, first and foremost was our fear that our family member would contract the virus. We knew that Misericordia’s priority was for the safety of our family members and staff was necessary, yet we struggled with the sadness of the separation.

Through it all, the dedication and devotion of the staff have reinforced what a strong community we are blessed to have at Misericordia. The Quality of Life, which we feared would suffer, has not. It looks different now, but remains the best it could possibly be. The Connection we have with our family members has had to adjust to new and different ways because of the distance imposed to keep everyone safe. Our Responsibility to Misericordia no longer included showing up to cook boatloads of fried chicken for Family Fest or standing outside with our Candy Days cans but took on other forms. And perhaps our Spirituality has even been strengthened as we have leaned on our faith during these rough days and months.

“Psychologists define resilience as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress—such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems, or workplace and financial stressors.” *

The response of Misericordia administration and staff to this unprecedented crisis has been an exceptional demonstration of resilience. It has clearly taken a huge and prolonged effort on their part, for which we are overwhelming thankful.

And now, we have hope. The vaccine has come to Misericordia. We know these days will end.

The Community of Believers’ values have been tested, and have stood up under the unforeseen demands we have all faced as families. Our stories through these months are all different. But our Misericordia community remains #MisericordiaStrong. It is possible that this terrible crisis has even strengthened our community. Let’s move ahead with hope and continued commitment to those values and to each other!

Judy Wall

*American Psychological Association