On the morning of our third Celebration!, I truly felt like this gathering had become a tradition of our mission to celebrate the lives of our patients and each other. Celebration! is now woven into the fabric of our daily lives and a time we have come to rely on to renew our spirits. Check out the video that gives you a flavor of what these unique Celebrations are all about.
In this season of celebrating, Debbie Robson, the Executive Director of Hospice Care of the West, and I opened the gathering by inviting the team to write the name of someone they want to remember on an ornament and hang it on the three trees that lined the doorway to the Celebration. I saw the names of patients’, Mom, Dad, friends and other loved ones’ names inscribed with love on these ornaments. Each one held the presence of that person we all spent a moment to reflect on.
So many folks walked in with such an attitude of gratitude for the Celebration! I could feel it in the air. So, I asked each person to turn to the person next to him or her and share something they were most grateful for this year. It was just after Thanksgiving and so it felt appropriate. Then I requested volunteers to share what their peers were grateful for. The Reminiscing Corner Video celebrating the Spiritual Care Coordinators followed. Please watch by clicking on the video below.
These spiritual care coordinators shared the journeys that led them into a calling to serve God and later hospice patients. They received a wide applause for sharing their stories with such genuine, authenticity.
I read the living eulogy of Kathy Rojas. There were tears flowing around the room. Thanks again Kathy for your beautiful life story. It was a honor to write it. Click here to read it.
Then Debbie shared the story of some of the special gifts her patients have given her during her 20 years as a hospice nurse. She shared the lovely story of how this classy patient would bring out her best china to serve Debbie cookies and tea on her hospice nurse visit. They would sit, have tea and conversations about life. Then she invited others to share gifts, wisdom and experiences hospice patients had graciously bestowed. My favorite was one of the nurses sharing how she did the hula dance with her one of her hospice families in honor of their mother. She really did stand an hula for all of us at the Celebration!
It was magical. Check out the montage video above and you’ll get a sense of just how magical this open microphone time is to the team at Hospice Care of the West. We have the most amazing community thriving and celebrating in hospice!