It’s tough being the adult children making the decisions about our aging parents. I’ve been there and it’s not easy…
When we entered Constance’s room, she was lying in bed, completely dressed, but huddled under a pile of blankets, her eyes closed. I softly spoke her name. She opened her eyes, spotted James and began to smile.
James then lay on the bed with Constance sitting up next to him – his head in her lap. As she hugged and petted him, she began to sob. I’m so lonely, she cried, her voice barely audible. I hate my daughter. She put me here. I would never put my mother in a nursing home. I never want to see her again. She never comes to see me. She kept repeating this, tears rolling down her cheeks. My heart went out to this deeply saddened person – and at the same time, I could relate to the daughter who had had to make the extremely difficult decision to place her mother here. There is no way the daughter’s well-meaning and necessary decision could be understood by her confused mother. Heartbreaking.
As Constance continued to pet James’ head, she began to smile again, saying he likes me, I like him. She continued to talk and started to speak about her family. I have four grandchildren that I love very much but they live far away, so I don’t get to see them. I’m glad I get to see James. He likes me and I like him. This is what therapy dogs do best… they can sooth and comfort a broken heart.
We stayed an extra long time today. It’s very hard to leave. Hard to say, We have to go now – but we’ll see you again soon – when soon isn’t soon enough. Wish we could visit everyday.