My now-husband and I had to cancel our wedding, originally scheduled for the end of June, when everything shut down due to the pandemic. However, with everything being so uncertain, we decided that the most important thing for us was to be married, and we would postpone a future celebration to whenever that would be permitted. On May 23, 2020, we were married at home in our backyard with our four boys, our Pastor, and our socially distanced witnesses. My husband is a mechanic, and uses the (now iconic!) N95 masks for work, and insisted that we get a photo in the masks to mark not only a historic day, but also the fact that it was happening at such an historic time! Other than the photos of us together with our boys as a new family, this is my favourite photo of the day, and a great reminder that no matter what challenges the world may bring us during our marriage, we’ll be able to smile because we’ll be in it together.
Cari and Jeff Van Niekerk, New Dundee 

I was sewing masks for my daughter and a few of her friends, all in senior and junior kindergarten, and I realized that this is definitely not the usual way that one prepares for a first day of school.
Allene Chomyn, Kitchener

Mother’s Day was special here at Sunnyside despite COVID-19. Many of the staff came around with a resident list. They handed out flowers and gifts for all the mothers. Many residents had window visits to see their family members. I saw my mom and sister. That was cool.
Susan Shantz, Kitchener

She died last night without having had any visits from her children or grandchildren. It breaks our hearts that this is how it happened. Because of restrictions, we cannot all attend her funeral and we don’t know when we will be able to come together as a family to mourn. Her death has naturally been difficult but what has made it unbearable is the manner in which it unfolded and the way we were cut off from her. I know that there are some in our family who are extremely traumatised, knowing she cried to see them and they couldn’t go. We all understand why the restrictions are in place but understanding this doesn’t really make it any easier.
Anonymous, Elmira

In 2020, Jason and I were renting our first house together, adopted a puppy, and putting the finishing touches on our wedding plans. COVID-19 happened with a bang, like a gun-shot with nuclear detonation. At the end of April, we made one of the most difficult decisions of our adult life – we cancelled our summer wedding, choosing to postpone until life was back to normal. Community quarantine will help solve this, and community support will help us come out stronger on the other side. It is the mantra that I will repeat until this is over, and I can finally marry my husband. Perhaps we will even give out rolls of toilet paper as wedding favours when that time comes.
Kristen Woodall, Kitchener 

Yesterday, my husband’s cousin got married. Instead of attending the wedding in person, we watched the 15-minute ceremony live on Facebook. The mother of the bride and the mother of the groom were both there, along with the pastor. They all stood at least 6 feet apart from the happy couple and each other in an empty church.
Leanne Clark, Cambridge

We were supposed to go to Nova Scotia to celebrate my mother-in-law’s 80th birthday in early July, but are now trying to think of a way to celebrate from a distance.
Cynthia Dunlavy, Waterloo

I was not able to attend my Grandma’s funeral. The 10-person limit that was enacted meant that all 10 “spaces” were (rightfully) attributed to my aunt, uncles and parents. We were given instructions for how to watch the funeral, which would be live-streamed to the link provided. But there were technical difficulties. I started watching at some point after the funeral was started. It wasn’t clear how much I had missed. There was audio difficulty. I lay on my couch at home with my laptop resting on my head – the speakers pressed to my ear – and I strained to hear what was happening. The livestream feed cut off. The videos ended and it seemed no more would start. And my Grandma – gone.
Tiffany Krahn, Kitchener

Over Easter I created a social distance Easter Egg Hunt in homage to the one my Grandparents would have for us as children. I hid 6 plastic eggs about my front yard and invited the neighbourhood to look for the eggs from the sidewalk. That was really fun!
Sara McTavish, Waterloo