Me, Mom & Covid: A Year Later is a love letter to Sara Sexton, a woman known for her compassion who died at the age of 97 in February 2020.
The Absolutely Canadian documentary airing this Saturday on CBC-TV at 7:30 p.m. BT is an expanded version of the CBC short by the same name. This documentary adds a new chapter to the Sexton family's struggle with grief and their quest to find a new home for their eldest sibling, Edwina.
Sara became a well-known AIDS activist after her son Tommy's death from the disease in 1993. She made national headlines by speaking about Tommy's death from AIDS and the need for empathy on stage at the 1994 Gemini Awards where CODCO was receiving an award.
She continued to advocate for gay rights and fought the stigma of AIDS throughout the 1990s and 2000s visiting classrooms and raising money for the Tommy Sexton Centre while continuing to care for Edwina.
The documentary is a family affair, directed by Sara's grandson Nik and produced by daughter Mary and featuring many of the Sexton siblings. Me, Mom & Covid: A Year Later explores the family's grief and their efforts to transition eldest daughter Edwina, who has a mental disability, into a senior's residence.
Edwina struggles with the loss of her mother as well as the loss of the only home she has ever known. She moves into the senior's residence and is living there for only a short period of time when COVID-19 visiting restrictions cut her off from her siblings.
This updated version of the documentary adds a new chapter to the story, visiting Edwina a year after Sara's death to see her thriving, surrounded by new friends and the centre of social life in the enior's residence.
Edwina's mischievous and bubbly approach to life and the unequivocal love of her siblings reminds viewers of what is truly essential in this uplifting and intimate family portrait. Me, Mom & Covid: A Year Later is now available on the CBC Gem app.