In the days leading up to his wedding, Richard Lau and his fiancé Sandy Davis realized that Nance Lau, Richard’s mom, now bedridden would not be able to make it to their special outdoor ceremony. Contending not only with the COVID-19 pandemic, but also with her advanced health issues they did not want to take chances with her health.
Aging and receiving care at home was important to Nance Lau. Richard tried different care services to help with his mother that could honor this request, but found that these services did not fit the needs of their family. It wasn’t until they began their care journey with Samaritan that they found a team of people that worked for their family. Providing expert care, being understanding of the toll of care on family caregivers all these factors and more showed the Lau family that they had found the right team for them. Richard shared that, “Hospice has been great with everything. I can directly reach her care team, or call the 24/7 number and get some help. They know everything and provide answers.”
When the question arose on how to include Nance in the wedding without compromising her health Samaritan Social Worker Serena Hnosko came up with a creative solution. She suggested the engaged couple have a small pre-wedding ceremony at home with Nance, and Sandy’s daughters. The pre-wedding came together quickly and was scheduled for the Thursday before the official August wedding on Saturday. The couple met with Samaritan Chaplain Joe DeSantis who was honored to participate by officiating the pre-wedding.
The day of the pre-wedding everyone gathered in Nance’s room forming a U-shape around her bed. Sandy and her daughters wore lavender gowns and carried beautiful flowers, with Richard wearing a boutonnière of the same flower design. While Chaplain DeSantis officiated, the beautiful ceremony was photographed by with Liz Earley, Samaritan nurse with a special bond to the Lau’s, revealing the smiles and happiness of the day. After sharing their vows, the couple proclaimed, “I will” rather than “I do” saving the official words for the wedding on Saturday.
The guest of honor Nance was incredibly happy with the ceremony. Delighted because she loved her new daughter in-law and was pleased to see her son happily married. Seeing his mother’s happiness made the day for Richard, who said, “My mother smiled, it was a beautiful day.”
Samaritan is honored to care for patients and families in need of hospice, palliative, or home visit services. Helping the Lau family navigate and resolve the challenge of hosting a wedding for their matriarch Nance is a joyful memory and a reminder of Samaritan’s mission to help our patients and families live the best life every day.
Nance passed peacefully in September 2020 surrounded by her beloved son and her daughter-in-law. She is missed and loved by her friends and family.