Dorothy Roberts, 89, had been at a nursing home for more than 13 years and couldn't step out due to the pandemic.
Robyn Roberts-Williams had always dreamt of getting married in the presence of her Mom, but the pandemic appeared to throw her plans out of the window. Her 89-year-old Mom, Dorothy Roberts, had spent the last 13 years at a nursing facility which made it impossible to step outdoors with the pandemic looming large over everyone. Moreover, being an elderly person, she was more susceptible to coronavirus and it wasn't a risk she could take. Robyn knew she wanted to get married in the presence of her Mom and decided to move the wedding to the Isabella Center for Re-abilitation and Nursing in Washington Heights, New York. “It was always my mother’s desire to be at my wedding, even when she went to the care home,” said Robyn, reported CelbMag. Roberts got to watch her daughter get married separated by a glass pane at the nursing facility.
Robyn usually visits her Mom every week but since the Coronavirus outbreak, she has been forced to limit her trips for the sake of her mother's safety. Tim Williams and Robyn had planned to get married in the springtime of 2021. It was during a visit to her Mom's facility, that she figured the wedding could be held there in front of her Mom, as she had always wished. “Once we saw the place where we’ll have the window visit, we thought it’d be the ideal setting for a modest wedding,” she said. They decided to call a handful of people, including family and friends.
Robyn approached the nursing home’s director of therapeutic recreation, Jessica Garcia-Robinson, seeking permission to hold the wedding in her mother's presence. Jessica didn't hesitate for a second, considering they'd known each other for over 10 years now. If anything, Jessica was happy she could be of help. “Her family is like our family. It was an honor to do this for them,” she said. "After considering a number of options, the couple asked if we'd allow them to marry in our Isabella Center courtyard, so Dorothy Roberts, Robyn's mom, could participate. Our answer? A resounding yes!" read a post by MJHS Health.
While Jessica was happy to help, they still need clearance from a few governmental bodies and MJHS Health, the facility’s parent corporation. They also had to ensure they weren't in any way violating the Department of Health’s restrictions on supervised visits. Robyn and Tim applied for permission to hold the wedding on October 10, 2020. They only received the necessary permission by early September, which meant they had only a month to plan the wedding.
The couple rushed through all that needed to be done, including buying the wedding gown, suit, and planning the decor for the wedding. Everything worked out and the pair got hitched in a small outdoor ceremony at the nursing home on October 10, with Robyn's mother blessing her from behind a glass panel. "The smile on Dorothy’s face that day validated all of our efforts. It was my 52nd birthday on that day, and this is my first marriage,” said Robyn. “Seeing her smile there in the glass, and having her be mentally and physically involved, and just being so delighted.” While the ceremony was small, the word of the wedding the reason behind it spread around the community. When the couple exited the nursing facility, they were greeted by well-wishers, mostly strangers, who applauded them. “Even though there were only ten of us in the yard, the jubilation all around us was incredible.” “All of that unfolded on its own; we didn’t have a plan for any of it,” she said.