When Mendel Good turned 95 recently, his three children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were on hand to sing “Happy Birthday.”
Because of current restrictions on in-person gatherings, the singing took place on a videoconference organized through a new e-visiting program at Baycrest. Relatives in New York, Toronto and Vancouver were on the call.
“Every time someone came on, he was very excited,” said his daughter, Gloria Good-Draper. “It was fantastic to see him smile. He’s a very grateful person so we could see the joy.”
Good was doing “most of the talking – and my dad really likes to talk!” she said. “He was pretty overwhelmed and happy.”
Mendel Good is a Holocaust survivor who came to Canada in 1948 to work as a tailor. He met his wife Valerie in Ottawa and they raised three children together. Later in Toronto, the couple lived in the Apotex Centre, Jewish Home for the Aged, until Valerie’s passing three and a half years ago.
Altogether, Good has lived at Baycrest for six and a half years. He gets around in a wheelchair and is very outgoing, happy and social, his daughter said.
For his birthday, he received cards and a calendar that his family populates with family photos and the dates of birthdays and anniversaries. And, of course, he had the very special video call.
“My father really sees family as a blessing because he had none after the war. His complete family was gone,” Good-Draper said. “So he really cherishes what he has now.”