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A long trip, short visit to celebrate 95th birthday outside a window

A family drove 13 hours to wish Ambrose Lyth, 95, a happy birthday from outside his home at Sunshine Gardens Senior Community in Durango.

A family of eight drove 13 hours from Colleyville, Texas, to Durango last weekend to celebrate their family patriarch’s 95th birthday. But once they arrived, they learned they wouldn’t be admitted into Sunshine Gardens Senior Community, where he lives.

The reason: Fear of spreading the potentially deadly coronavirus to an at-risk population.

Instead, the family spent Sunday outside Ambrose Lyth’s window talking and reminiscing, said Mary McPherson, Lyth’s daughter, who lives in Durango.

He hadn’t seen the family for almost 18 months, she said.

“He had his window open,” McPherson said. “ He is a very fine Christian man, and he blessed each one of the great-grandchildren and my daughter and her husband.”

The Texas family planned to make it a ski trip, but they arrived Saturday night, March 14, only to learn all ski resorts in the state would be closed starting Sunday, March 15, to help limit the spread of the coronavirus.

The family went home Sunday night, concerned about the rapidly changing public health situation.

“They said it was worth the long trip up to turn around and go home just to be with their great-grandfather,” McPherson said. “Life is changeable, and it was a real blessing for them to come.”

Herald Staff

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