DENVER (CBS4)– When Nancy Farley wears a face-covering these days to guard against the COVID virus, she is likely to put one on that she fashioned from her late husband’s wardrobe.
“I saved Mike’s bathrobe and made masks out of his bathrobe,” said Nancy.READ MORE: Citation Issued After Rollover Crash On I-25 South of Castle Rock
It’s one way that Nancy and her extended family keep her husband’s memory close, nearly a year after his death.
Mike Farley, 87, was one of Denver’s earliest COVID deaths. An attorney who was known as a humanitarian and artist, who fought for those less fortunate, passed away from COVID-19 on March 23, 2020. Farley was a father, grandfather and pillar of the community.
His family recently agreed to sit down with CBS4 and reflect on the last year.
“I feel his absence very acutely,” said his daughter Maggie. “I miss him all the time, but I hear him in my head. I have to resist the urge to pick up the phone and call him and tell him my problem of the day.”
John Farley, Mike’s son, said he has “healed tremendously” in the last year, thanks to the support of family and friends.
But he said, “There’s still a rawness to what’s happening today, watching all these people die, and so many more than needed to die from this disease. That emotionally keeps it kind of raw.”
The family continues to mourn not only for Mike Farley, but for opportunities lost over the last year for the nation to pull together.
“I think the biggest loss is the lost opportunity to come together as a country to fight against it. Instead,” said Maggie, “We’ve ended up more divided. That makes me angry.”
John echoed his sister’s sentiments, “I’m disappointed we didn’t pull together. I’m disappointed we’re fragmented.”READ MORE: Denver Weather: Two Really Good Chances For Spring Snow This Week
Nancy Farley said she has mostly good days but then something will trigger her emotions.
“I find weekends hard,” she recounted. She said she stays busy and distracted during the week but “on the weekend, you’re alone.”
A year later, the family says they realize we are all interconnected and anyone is vulnerable to the virus.
“I just think people need to realize we are all equal,” said Nancy Farley.
But they remain frustrated that so many Americans aren’t wearing masks and are not taking other precautions.
Aria Brauchli, one of Mike Farley’s grandchildren, is a college sophomore in Boulder and said among her peer group, “Nobody takes it seriously.”
She said young people, “don’t care, and we need more people who do.”
When he died, his daughter Maggie feared she had been the one who had passed the virus along to her father. In her last conversation with him, she told him, “If there was a chance I brought this to him, please forgive me.”
Since then, she said she has taken an antibody test which showed she did not have the virus.
“I was not the one to give it to my father. Huge relief,” said Maggie.MORE NEWS: Colorado Unemployment Claimants Struggling With ID.me Verification Stuck With No Income, No Answers
Farley’s widow, Nancy, remembers March of 2020, and how the mysterious virus took her warm and caring husband, “Nobody knew what was going on then. Nobody knew.”