Mary Daniel’s husband Steven has Alzheimer’s and lives in a nursing home in Jacksonville, Florida. The home has been close to visitors due to the pandemic, and Mary had only been able to see Steve twice, by coming to his window.
To make it so she could see him more often, Mary took an unusual step: she applied for a job at the nursing home. For two hours a day, two days a week, Mary washes dishes at the residence for $9 per hour. When her shift is done, she slips in to see Steve.
"When I opened up the door to his room after I was done with my first shift, he looked at me, he started crying and he said 'Mary.' And he came over and hugged me," she said. "And the look on his face when he saw me, even in a mask, was absolutely priceless. It was worth every dish I'll have to wash forever."
Mary said she doesn't mind washing dishes. "I can do anything for two hours. I know that's the reward is I get to go in and surprise him. And then we just rest. We lay in bed and we watch television and we hold hands. He'll put his head on my shoulder."