My mother died this past Monday. It was a sad event but then again, it wasn’t . She suffered from a lengthy and ongoing illness. She is at peace now and with this comes a sense of relief. It is sad for me because it brings to mind the woman she once was. I miss that woman. I have missed her for a long time now. Her passing makes the memories fresh again.
We knew that her death was imminent but didn’t know exactly when it would happen. So I had plans already scheduled for the day she died. I thought about cancelling them, after all my mother just died. Everyone would certainly understand. But I decided to honor my obligations. They would mean something to the ones I gave my word to. For you see, I had agreed to provide therapy dog visits at the nursing home.
I’m sure no one would hold it against me had I canceled. But I could stay at home and be sad or I could go make people happy. Always choose happiness!
So I loaded up the dogs and we set out on a mission of love. Now lest you think, oh what a selfless soul, I must confess that I get at least as much out of these visits as the residents do. If you read the studies you will find that participating in animal assisted therapy releases “feel good ” chemicals in the body. And I always feel great by the time I go home!
So as we go around, hopefully spreading joy, we are also receiving joy. It’s a two way street. And I get to hang out with people who want to hear me talk about my dogs. Pretty selfish really. A couple of the people make sure to visit with us every time we are scheduled to come. They are now my friends. So although it may look like I am providing a service, I am really receiving a gift.
This visit becomes a tribute to my mother. For in her days on this world she taught us to live and love always. Make the most of each opportunity for it may be short.