When I came into the care home he was standing by the window, not enjoying the wind in the trees outside, just wavering back and forth, almost buckling at the knees.
It took awhile to get his attention but even then it was vague. He knew me not. But I persisted and a full body hug got him focused (yep that’s my guy!) and then a tender mouth kiss. He went with me 12 feet and collapsed on the coach. Some kind of garbly conversation followed, then he leaned back, I put my arm around him, and almost immediately he started to snore.
And we both rested, enjoying the sweet comfort of our familiar bodies, safe and together for an hour. Until my arm fell asleep and I gently slowly extracted myself, and tiptoed out.
When I returned later, needing just a little more contact, he was bright and smiling, welcoming me as someone he knew.
The rest gave us both sweet goodness.
For the first time in a week, emotionally satisfied, I did not choke back tears as I left, having handed over my smiling “shadow” to a caregiver.