Mr. Riley

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#1 Volunteer Mr. Riley

The morning started out different than we had planned! Our son Walker asked my husband to go look at modular homes with him from 9:00-11:00. We had made plans to donate blood at 10:30. I was able to push our blood donation time back an extra hour. I had made plans to go visit Mr. Riley (my #1 volunteer of all time) between 1-2.

We made it to give blood but they were behind by an hour. They were using a new Blood Mobile bus and they only had 3 people working. Our son Walker had decided to come give blood with us. We were at the Harley shop waiting for them to call our names to donate blood. We got there at 12:00 and ended up starting to give blood after 1:00. Walker finished giving blood around 3:00.

My husband and I took off to visit Mr. Riley. The GPS said 38 minutes to get to where he lived. Well, we took one wrong turn and ended up 20 minutes away from where we should have been. We backtracked and ended up figuring out what we had done. We finally made it to see him at 4:30. He was very happy to see us.

Mr. Riley seemed very depressed. He talked about missing his home and the things he use to do. He mentioned several times that he was just wasting time until it is his time to die. My heart was broken. I let him know that my husband and I have the summer off. We would love to bring him to his home for a week or two so he could spend time. He said it would be to depressing because he wouldn’t be able to do what he use to do. I just wanted to give him some peace. I didn’t know what to say or do to help him. Both of his adult children live out of state. He does not get to see them often. I wanted to ask him why he doesn’t move closer to where one of them lives. He needs company more often. Especially his children. My mother- in law -lives with us and I can’t imagine just leaving her sitting in a room by herself with strangers taking care of her. How can I help him? He volunteered in my classroom from 1990-2017 three days per week. He drove the 40 minutes three times a week. Why am I not doing more? I struggle with this all the time! He even talked with me about what his wishes were for his death. He has orders of only Palliative Care which means to focus improving his quality of life. He was concerned that because  they gave him an iron infusion that it goes against his Palliative Care Instructions. I told him I would check it out for him.

He mentioned his favorite place to eat lunch (Narrows Tavern). I told him my husband and I would go there for dinner after we leave him. That was a happy place for him so I wanted to be able to have a conversation with him about it.  We loved our meals. I called from the tavern to let him know our thoughts. He was very happy that we loved it. It was great to be able to chat with him about it! I really need to visit more often to help bring his spirits up!

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3 thoughts on “Mr. Riley

  1. You are doing a great thing by visiting Mr. Reilly as often as you can. Take solace in how much he enjoys your visits. You can’t do it all. Maybe next time you visit you can bring him lunch from Narrows Tavern.

    • I called him on my way home from work today and told him we enjoyed our visit and that next time we will bring him some fish chowder from Narrows Tavern. He said he looks forward to it.

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