Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Russ & Sue and Mike and Lucy

There were two couples at Garden Terrace that I wanted to make special note of.  They are Russ and Sue, and Mike and Lucy.

Sue is a patient at Garden Terrace.  She suffers from dementia, and has some problems with her feet and legs as well.  She stays in a high-back wheelchair most of the time.  Sue's husband, Russ, comes in everyday at lunchtime to help feed Sue.  He often times brings fresh fruit and other foods that Sue is especially fond of.  Like mom, Russ has suffered from his own health problems in the past year.  Yet he keeps coming to be with Sue, day after day, week after week, and month after month.  After lunch, they often will retire to Sue's room and watch a movie together.  They have brought in a big screen TV, and an extensive video collection. 

Russ is a nice guy.  He's quick witted and quick with a joke or funny comment.  We would always exchange greetings when we saw each other.

Lucy is another patient at Garden Terrace.  Lucy has some kind of musculo-skeletal disease.  Her body is crippled up and contorted.  Her mind however, seems to be pretty sharp.  Lucy needs help with doing most everything, including eating.  Lucy's husband, Mike is an exemplary fellow.  He gets up early in the morning, and spends most of the day there with Lucy.  Every day.  He is serving her as best he can, and is totally devoted to Lucy. 

Of all the patients in the Morning Glory Unit of Garden Terrace,  only Sue, Lucy, and dad had family members there each day to help feed them lunch.  We developed a kind of kindred spirits with Russ and Mike, as we shared in our labors of love.  I have to say that both Mike and Russ were upbeat most of the time.  They would laugh and joke around with each other, and with the staff easily.  It would be easy for people in their situation to be glum and depressed.  Yet through it all, they were able to bear their burdens with cheerfulness in their hearts. 

Russ, like us will be needing to move Sue into a care center that accepts medicaid.  He will be moving her around the firs of the year. 

Lucy's room was right next door to dad's room at Garden Terrace.  On the day we moved dad out, I stopped by Lucy's room, and talked to Mike for a moment.  We exchanged our greetings and our good-byes.  I told Mike that he was a great example of love and devotion, and that it has been a privilege to know him. 

I'm proud to have associated with Russ and Mike.  I will miss seeing them.  I wish them well in their journeys.

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