Meg’s beloved husband Rick passed away on her birthday. It had been two years, and Meg didn’t think she’d ever be the same. Most days she had trouble motivating herself to get dressed. Even the thought of preparing a meal exhausted her. More often than not she ate a granola bar and meal supplement drink for breakfast, popped open a can of soup for lunch, and – maybe – snacked on a couple crackers in the evening. Her daughter Debra was worried sick.
She understood that her mother needed time to grieve, but Debra was concerned. Meg was losing weight, and Debra was afraid she would get seriously ill. More than that, Debra had the sense that her mom didn’t care if she did.
Debra had spoken with Meg about her fears, and Meg could see why her daughter was concerned. She talked with her counselor, who agreed that Meg’s symptoms went beyond simple grief. Meg was diagnosed with depression, and with treatment, improved slightly although she still lacked a luster for life.
“A purpose,” Meg explained matter-of-factly over the phone one evening to Debra. “You’re all grown up, Dad is gone… What do I have left? I’ve taken care of my family since I was a girl. I’m no longer needed. I’m just waiting for God to call me home.”
Debra had no words. That night she barely slept, tossing and turning throughout a fitful sleep. In the early morning she finally drifted off to sleep, but no sooner had she do so than her golden retriever Marley nudged her awake. Her glistening brown eyes implored Debra to get up and take Marley for her morning walk.
“Marley!” Debra groaned, laughing. Suddenly, she sat bolt upright. “Marley, that’s it! Good girl! You’re absolutely right! Mom needs a good girl, just like you, to take care of!”
Debra was so excited she nearly floated through Marley’s morning walk. She called her mom as soon as she got home. Meg couldn’t help feeling a little excited, too. She had always loved dogs, and having a doggy companion would make a huge difference in her daily life.
“But, Debra, I can’t take care of a puppy!”
“We don’t need to get you a puppy, Mom! Let’s find an older dog who needs a calm home and a good friend. We can hire a senior care aide to come each morning and go for a walk with both of you. We can also have them pick after the dog in the lawn.”
To her surprise, Meg found herself nodding and smiling. She liked the idea of rescuing a dog who needed a home – and who needed her.
Debra made plans to fly out to her mother’s house, where they went to visit some dog shelters. They found an incredibly sweet little corgi named Bella who was getting up in years. One look and Meg was in love.
“Debra, you were right,” Meg told her one night over the phone. “I feel like my old self again, now that I have Bella to take care of. I still miss your father terribly – I’ll never stop missing him – but I have a real purpose again. And I love the senior care aide! They are wonderful! I feel better since I’m walking every day too! I even have an appetite again. It’s just amazing! Thank you, honey!”
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Senior Care in Rancho Murieta, CA please contact the caring staff at Aging Assistant today. (916) 897-4752