Love. That’s what this month is about. That’s what this post is about.
Nan wasn’t raised with a dog, and was a bit scared of them. I got my Mom a little dog from the shelter as her gift for retiring from nursing. She wasn’t sure about keeping her until Nan, said, “Aww, Marion, can’t we please keep her?” So they did.
I wish Nan had known Lexi. She would have loved her.
Years after Nan had passed, Mom finally moved here to Chattanooga into an apartment I had just vacated. I had bought a house only a block or so away. She was in her mid-80’s at that time, and I did not know how unsteady she was, and that dementia was setting in. She was able to hide it on my trips to western PA to visit. Mom delighted in Lexi staying with her in her apartment while I was at work. Mom was usually still in bed in the early morning when I dropped Lexi off, so I would let her in and she would stay with Mom in bed until it was time to get up. One afternoon when I stopped to pick up Lexi after work and visit a bit with Mom, she told me that she hadn’t felt good earlier. She said she was sitting on the edge of her bed when Lexi reached over and put her paw on Mom’s leg. Remember, Lexi was a therapy dog, and they know when someone is hurting or sick; they seem to know what to do. Mom said Lexi helped her feel better, and noted, “She’s a kind schnauzer.”
I noticed that Mom was going through her favorite jam that she used on her toast every morning. She admitted to me that she always made Lexi a piece of toast and jam to eat with her. Since I knew it was useless to try to persuade Mom to stop, I bought Lexi her own, inexpensive, apple jelly. A couple of weeks later I thought to ask Mom how Lexi liked the apple jelly. “Oh,” Mom replied, ” I’m eating that because Lexi likes the black raspberry jam better.” Yes, my Mom loved Lexi.
When Mom fell in the middle of the night, pulling the TV down on her, she wasn’t badly hurt, but it was time to move her to assisted living. She ended up falling there, too, and breaking her hip. She never recovered from that, and ended up in a nursing home. One day I received a call from the home that Mom had aspirated on something she was eating and was unconscious. They didn’t know if she would waken. I immediately called my son and then my husband, asking them to come quickly and bring Lexi. As we sat in chairs on each side of the bed, just waiting, my son and me crying, Lexi sat on the bottom of the bed staring at her grandma. Suddenly, Mom opened her eyes, looked down to the bottom of the bed, and with a huge smile, cried out, “Lexi!”
Today I am celebrating the joy that Lexi brought into my mother’s life, and the love they shared.