At SCS, we just picked up a client who was recently discharged from the hospital. Although she is delighted to be home, she has come to the realization that she still has a long road to full recovery. As a result, at 80+ she feels she has no purpose which makes her feel as though she no longer has value. Because of her depressed state she rarely smiles or initiates conversation.
This afternoon, her cat who has always been hiding during our visits, decided to venture out and investigate these new people who invaded her home. Once she determined that she would tolerate us, she ambled over to her owner, purring lovingly and jumping into her lap. Almost instantly the Mrs. came alive, talking softly to her furry friend and petting Ms. Kitty while smiling from ear to ear. This was the most animated our client had been in the almost two weeks we have assisted her. She told us about the many animals she and her husband helped. Because they lived on a farm, they took in many strays. "We always had the space, well someone had to care for them." Then a light bulb moment... she realized she was still very needed by Ms. Kitty and others. Her spirits were lifted for the rest of the day.
This story illustrates what we already know...We All Need A Purpose! In this case, Ms. Kitty's is to show love to her owner, to brighten her day and keep her company. Our client's purpose is to care for Ms. Kitty, and to care for her son, daughter-in-law and grandson, for members of her extended family, for her church, for the hospital in which she volunteered for approximately 30 years, for her many friends and neighbors.
Animals can be therapuetic and bring so much joy into our lives. Sometimes a pet can be the catalyst for recovery, for rehabilitation and more. If you are considering bringing a pet home or giving one to a friend or loved one, please check out your local animal shelters. Perhaps rescuing animals can be part of your purpose!