‘It means everything to me’: 98-year-old North Carolina woman readies for a special Mother’s Day

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — This year’s Mother’s Day will look much different than last year’s at assisted living facilities.

Families who have been vaccinated will be able to spend it together.

It’s something Rachel Thomas is looking forward to.

At 98 years old, Thomas paints nearly every day.

She’s bringing her two latest pieces to her son’s for Mother’s Day.

“Because they’re taking me for the weekend, I want to give them something,” said Thomas, a resident at Abbotswood at Stonehenge in Raleigh.

She is heading to the coast to spend her first weekend with them since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It means everything to me,” she said.

CBS 17’s Bridget Chapman met Thomas last Mother’s Day at her assisted living facility in Raleigh.

She and her sons could only speak through a screen door while socially distanced.

“They are absolutely wonderful sons,” she said. “They love their mother and I love them very much. They take care of me.”

To prepare for this weekend’s big trip, she got her hair done and has her bag packed.

“I think if God is going to give me the strength to go down there, I think it’s wonderful,” she said.

David Sexton, executive director of the facility, said 97 percent of the residents are vaccinated.

“To get to where we are now and to see those things pay off, the excitement for the residents and the family members – this is why you do it,” said Sexton.

Because of the vaccine, the pace of COVID-19 infections has slowed down in facilities across the state over the past few months.

“I hope all of you have a happy Mother’s Day,” said Thomas.

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