Families remember flags at mall on four-year anniversary of Covid

When Nicolas Montemarano's parents were diagnosed with Covid a few days before Christmas in 2020, he was more concerned about his father, who had pre-existing conditions.

Dr. Catherine Montemarano, 79, Steroids and antibiotics and sent her home, but her fever escalated and she was admitted to an Indiana hospital on New Year's Eve.

But Jan. By 6, 2021, the doctor summoned the family. Nicholas Montemarano drove 600 miles from his home in Lancaster. American capital. For a while, his health seemed to improve, but soon doctors prescribed palliative care.

On Jan. 15, Montemarano and her twin sister, a nurse, wrapped themselves in personal protective equipment and allowed doctors to remain on the last day of their mother's life.

“I can't imagine how hard it would have been and still is if we couldn't be with her,” he said. said.

His family with 10 people including his wife and son performed worship. A legal secretary, a Catholic and devoted grandmother of three, Catherine Montemarano supported foster children around the world, writing letters and sending them photographs.

Months later, she learned about the flags project from a virtual support group and posted one online, writing, “We miss you, Mom.” and with his family in DC.

He approached the installation and started crying when he saw the death toll sign, and he didn't stop until he found her flag.

“It was like I was going to my mother's grave,” he said. “It gave us a solid place and a place for collective grief.”

They sat on the grass and took a public A place where he can shed tears without anyone wondering why. “They all know,” he said.

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Until her mother's death, Montemarano, a professor of creative writing at Franklin & Marshall College and a novelist, Wrote almost exclusively fiction. Within a month, he found a memoir.

He said writing the book, “If There's a Heaven,” published in July 2022, helped him heal.

“For those who have lost a loved one, we will never be back to normal,” he said.

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