Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Words of Encouragement

When Maggie and I enter a facility we never know what (or who) we will encounter. Over the last couple of weeks we met with a few individuals that were “down in the dumps”. One of our regulars “Dave” who is confined to a wheelchair would wait for us outside his room. Although he cannot move his arms or his hands we always make sure to stop by and engage him in conversation. Maggie sits by his side patiently listening to our conversation. This past week when I turned down the corridor and didn’t see “Dave” outside his room I became concerned. I poked my head in his room and noticed him in bed with the covers pulled up to his chin. I put a smile on my face and Maggie and I entered his room. He explained that he was under the weather. I asked him what he was under the weather with and he responded a cold. I know he isn’t telling me the whole story as a cold doesn’t put Dave in bed, but I don’t pry. I talk about his favorite topic-politics, hoping it will distract him for a few moments. At this point Maggie has made herself comfortable on the floor. As we finish our conversation and get ready to leave I wish him a speedy recovery. His comeback is “it is what it is” I smile as I direct Maggie out the door and wonder if he has any family members planning on visiting for the holidays. At another facility I encounter a woman calling me over. “I love dogs, I just love dogs,” she says “I rescued five greyhounds!” “ Wow,” I said “what were their names?” I ask “Can’t remember,” she says after a pause, “What’s your dog’s name?” she asks, “Maggie,” I reply, “Oh, that’s the name of my daughter in law…I don’t like her,” she continues. “Well if you prefer you can call her Margaret, she’ll respond to both.” I’ve seen this woman before but have not officially introduced myself to her. She proceeds to pull out pictures of her dogs, but ends up showing me pictures of her and her husband. So nice I respond. Well, it wasn’t such a good marriage she answers. I realize this woman must have had a lot of knocks in her life, but her dogs were a positive aspect for her. So I sit there with her and let her pet Maggie and listen to her complain in hopes it will make her feel better. “I just love dogs and if I wasn’t living here I would have two or five,” she adds “Well I’m happy to be able to bring Maggie here to visit with you.” I say We banter back and forth until she abruptly turns her wheelchair and exits the room. I’m sure I will see her again at a future visit and we’ll do this over again! I can’t help but think of these individuals over the holiday and wonder how they are fairing.

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