This Covid year has been a year of loss, of precious hours spent together with mothers, for so many. Distances have stretched, care homes have closed doors, many of us have felt the miles expand between our mothers and us, or between us and our children. Some have lost their mums, whether to Covid, or for other reasons. Some have found their contact reduced to waving through windows, whether outside parents' homes, or care home buildings. Here are a few of their stories:

Holly Hartley, support worker

“I’ve finally managed to get a visit booked to see my mum in her care home. We went from March to October last year not being able to see her. She is 47 and has severe multiple sclerosis and Crohn’s, and though she understands what’s going on, she doesn’t totally understand it. She’s alert but her memory is going. I think it doesn’t help being trapped in a room 24/7.

“This is going to be the first time we can see her in her bedroom since the pandemic started. Before now, I’ve not been able to sit in the same room as her.

“The last time I saw her was Christmas Day and the visiting space was like an American prison. They had partitioned one of the rooms in half with this giant white wall, and there was a screen, through which you could see each other and a microphone and speaker at either side of it. It was horrendous and I just wanted to be able to sit next to her.

The Herald: Holly Hartley and mum, Dana

“At Christmas she was getting a bit frustrated with us because she thinks we just don’t want to see her. We have had arguments on the phone. She has said, ‘Well, you just don’t want to see us.’ We’ll say, ‘That’s not the case. We’re literally just not allowed.’ “She’s understanding that there’s this virus about, but she’s not understanding how severe it is, or how difficult it would be if she caught it – or that there’s very little chance she would survive.

“Every single day she says that she misses us and that she doesn’t understand why we can’t go in. Before lockdown we would see her three or four times a week.

“I have worried about losing my mum. I’ve thought about it most days since March. All it would take, because of my mum’s condition, is for one person who works in the care home to contract covid.”

READ MORE: Mother's Day: Birth and new motherhood in the time of Covid

Fiona Brownlee, publisher

“My mum, Jan, went into a care home for companionship on November 18, 2019. I used to visit twice a day and she came out every Thursday to go to the hairdressers and have a cup of tea with us afterwards.

“On her 91st birthday in February we had a surprise lunch with friends at Porto and Fi by which time she had acclimatised to life in the care home and thought it was rather like a hotel with restaurant dinner and frequent entertainment.

“When she was at our house, following a hair appointment on March 12, we got a call to say they were going into lockdown and we needed to take her back. Lockdown meant that the restaurant was closed and all entertainment stopped so the home swiftly turned from hotel to prison.

The Herald: Fiona Brownlee with mum, Jan

“She caught covid at the end of March but astonishingly didn’t seem affected by it. Throughout the first lockdown I rang every morning, waved up at her first floor window and became very conscious of which trees blossomed when as they obstructed my view.

“I didn’t see my mother in person again (bar one disastrous garden visit when she had visibly deteriorated) until I picked her up on July 26 to go to Islay.

“Astonishingly the care home gave me permission to take her home to the island and we had a glorious two weeks with family where she reconnected with the outside world. She improved dramatically but on her return had to go into two weeks’ solitary confinement and we were back at square one.

“I joined Care Home Relatives Scotland in September and went along to the demonstration outside the parliament on September 16.

“It really helped to meet people who shared my conviction that social interaction with family was crucial for older people to avoid the relentless slide into dementia.

“Weekly visits finally started in October, initially downstairs and in November I was allowed back into her room. It was lovely to be surrounded by familiar furniture and photographs and it was clearly doing us both a power of good but on Christmas Day I got a call to say that a staff member had tested positive so all visits were cancelled.

“By the time I got in again it was for ‘essential’ visits because she has gone so downhill so I am now visiting twice a week. We watch the Wardie Church service online, Facetime my brother in Italy. Non-essential visits still haven’t resumed and my heart goes out to all the other families.

“Last week I accompanied her to the dentist which I think was the first time she had been outside the home since we returned from Islay in August. Who would have thought that dental appointments would be the source of so much pleasure?”

Melisa Rodriquez, chef

“I’m from Mexico and I’ve been living in Edinburgh with my husband for 10 years. Sadly at the end of December, my mum, who lived in Mexico, had to be hospitalised because she had covid symptoms. She went into the same hospital her sister had a few days before her – and both died.

“When she was in hospital there was mostly no direct communication – my brother would learn everything through a social worker. But we managed to speak with her a day before she died.

“I think the mobile phone was being held with a plastic bag and the four of us, my two brothers, my sister and myself managed to talk to my mum for five minutes, through Whatsapp.

“My mum was very happy to see the four of us. It was a bit blurry and we couldn’t see much of her face. She did sound really scared. But I could see her hair, her curly hair. She said to us that she would be fine and that she loved us and was thinking of us. We started telling her, ‘We are waiting for you. My brother is making the house ready. I’ll go to Mexico the first chance I get.’ “On January 6, we got the call that she had passed away. We were devastated and couldn’t believe it. She was only 66, and she was a strong woman. She loved to live.

“Even though we all know everyone is going to die at some point, you take your mum for granted.

The Herald: Melisa Rodriguez who lost her mum last year to Covid..STY Allan. Pic Gordon Terris/ Herald&Times.10/3/21 EDI...

“We also haven’t been able to celebrate her life the way we would have liked to, because I cannot fly to Mexico. My siblings can’t see each other because there are still some restrictions in Mexico.

“I think if we hadn’t had that last phone call, I would have felt just awful, because when you lose somebody there is always this remorse, this feeling that there was something you could have done.

“We all think of that phone call as our goodbye. It’s very symbolic.

“It’s really hard to think that I’ll go to Mexico and she won’t be there. I also feel there are still conversations I want to have with her.”