Dartmouth Woman Comforts Terminally-Ill Mother With Bird Watching
Sharon Chace Ridge has found a level of compassion caring for her 90-year-old mother that some only wish to achieve in life. Ridge lives in North Dartmouth and recently moved her mother, Sally Chace, into the home this spring.
“She had a stroke 12 years ago but was diagnosed with terminal metastatic breast cancer two months ago,” Ridge said. “We have not told her this is terminal. She is 90 years old and we feel it is best to let her live out the rest of her days as happy as she possibly can.”
Chace left the hospital and moved in with her daughter at the end of April. Once it was known that her condition was terminal, the family decided to move her downstairs for safety reasons.
“We converted the dining room into her bedroom by removing all the furniture,” said Ridge. “We had hospice bring in a medical bed and all the necessary supplies.”
Ridge and her family noticed that although Chace’s health was rapidly declining, she still found joy in simple things.
“I had two hummingbird feeders in our backyard and she would spend a lot of time watching the birds out of the one window in the dining room where she stays,” Ridge said. “Once we realized the pure joy that she gets from watching the birds, we bought many more.”
Chace loves seeing all of the birds that visit the feeders every day, visibly showing excitement when a special one catches her eye.
“She yells out when she sees the beautiful finches and when the blue jays come,” Ridge said. “She gets so excited with cardinals and orioles, too. She absolutely loves it!”
Ridge shared a photo of all of the bird feeders arranged in a local town group on Facebook and received an outpouring of love and support for her mother. It was the kindest gesture that was recognized at a very difficult time. Our parents take care of us for years, well into adulthood. So for Ridge to have the opportunity to care for her mother in this way is something special. And she's grateful for the chance to provide some happiness and comfort for someone who means the world to her.
“Since moving my mother into our home, it has given myself and my daughters such a bonding experience with my mother that we didn’t have before,” said Ridge. “She’s always happy and just loves being here with us and talking via FaceTime with my daughter and granddaughter in Florida. As sad as this situation is, we are so thankful for this time our family has with her.”