On a sunny afternoon in late January, an older woman in a green sweater and red sweater with a red ribbon around her neck and a smile on her face is at home with her family in the family’s modest, wood-paneled home in Toronto.
Her husband and children are all wearing blue T-shirts with the words “Hometown” written in black lettering.
They are at home, but for the past two weeks they have been in the hospital recovering from a recent fall.
Her younger son, who was the first to fall, was in the intensive care unit, and her older son, whose injuries were not serious, was staying at home in his room, but was able to attend the hospital’s outpatient clinic to receive medical attention.
Their son’s parents had recently moved from the Toronto suburb of Ajax, where they were raised, to a small village in northwestern Ontario.
Their home was built in the 1800s and their family had built a home in the 1940s.
They had grown up with a sense of community and shared the same culture and beliefs.
They were a proud, patriotic, hardworking family who always felt a part of something bigger than themselves.
On January 12, a few days after her son’s accident, the woman, who asked that her name not be published, was on her way to work when she noticed a message from Facebook.
“We just wanted to share that we are all with you,” it read.
“I think you might want to look into this post because it is a really cool thing to do.”
Her immediate reaction was to respond.
But the post wasn’t just for her.
A few minutes later, a young man came into the house and started to cry.
The woman, still in her chair, was so moved she asked if he could hug him.
They hugged, and they talked about their son, how much they loved him, how their son was going to get better and how much it meant to them to be together again.
Their youngest son, an adult with a job and a family, also responded.
The mother said she was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and that she was still in shock.
It was a moment that had never occurred to her before.
It didn’t occur to her that there was something about being home in a hospital bed that would keep her from being there.
“If I had been in a house in a small town, I probably would have cried,” she said.
“But I wasn’t.
I didn’t think about it.”
But she did think about the impact it would have on her husband and kids.
Her eldest son had a fractured skull in his face.
His older son’s leg had been amputated in a fall and he had to be put on a ventilator.
“They are both in intensive care.
I have no idea what my husband is going to do, but they will need help,” she recalled thinking.
“I don’t know how much longer I am going to be able to be at home.”
The woman’s husband had recently been in an accident, too, and his leg had also been amputating.
He was a nurse, and he was also in a critical condition.
Her daughter had had surgery to correct her back pain, but it had damaged the nerves in her arms and legs.
She could not walk without a cane.
“It’s devastating,” she remembered thinking.
She was also worried about her family.
“We have a hard time coming up with money for groceries,” she explained.
“And there’s not a lot of time to spend with our children.
They are going to need their time with the doctors, too.”
On January 15, a man in his 30s came in.
“He was really worried,” she recalls.
“His arms and his legs were really swollen.
I was really concerned about him.
I felt bad for him.
He didn’t even know we were all at home together.”
The man’s father, who works at a nearby restaurant, also came to the house to see if his family could help.
He had worked at a different restaurant and was working a shift that was later cancelled.
The family had never had a problem before, but he had just gotten home from work and the house had been cleaned.
The man was a little overwhelmed by all the attention and had no idea how to get through it all.
“So I’m asking my son if he wants to hug me, and my husband, and then he does and hugs me,” she recounted.
The mother had to share some of her personal stories about her son, too.
She said that the day before her son fell, he was on a motorcycle ride and had been stopped by a car with its lights on.
He looked over at his father and said, “Daddy, I don’t want to do this.”
She said she immediately told him to stop.
The two quickly