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Ch.108 I’m Here at The Refuge, Aren’t I, to Stay.

Ch.108 I’m Here at The Refuge, Aren’t I, to Stay.

          September 2021

          This morning I came to The Refuge memory care facility about 11 a.m. to visit Pat. I was just settling in when Pat looked at me and said: “I’m here at The Refuge, aren’t I? I’m here at The Refuge, aren’t I, to stay.” That last sentence wasn’t a question. Pat knew that The Refuge would be a permanent residence – that she would not be coming home. I had to agree, telling her that there was always a chance she would recover her strength once her urinary tract infection was over but that was not likely.

          I cried when I saw the sadness in Pat’s eyes. She cried when she saw the sadness in mine.

          And then Pat comforted me; she told me that it was all right, that she would be ok, that she was ready to stay there. She would have used the word “acceptance” if she had been able to find it. She held my hand and let me cry some more.

          I don’t know where Pat’s courage comes from. Never once has she requested or demanded I take her home. Never, even as she has painfully migrated from hospital to a rehab center to an assisted living facility to memory care. And now she comforts me when it seems that I should be the one comforting her.

          I stayed with Pat until almost 2 p.m. When I mentioned that I needed to go to take care of Levi, our collie, here is what she said: “It’s OK to leave at 2 o’clock. I will be ok.”

          I left Pat, then, at 2 o’clock, alone.

 

Pat’s response to I’m Here at The Refuge, Aren’t I, to Stay?

          This is the place I want to be in.