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January 2003
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Winter Volunteers for Hospice and Report from Helping Hands

Many of our hospice volunteers have headed for warmer climates, but we still have many wonderful volunteers who will be here for the winter. We had our last meeting for the year and won't have another one until everyone gets back in the spring. Here's the list of winter volunteers: 1st contact person: Lois Williams (2475); 2nd contact person: Sandy LoDico (2004); Di Shoup (2068), Margaret Bass (2444), Karen Wirth (2266), and Pinky Harmon (2461) after February. Lois Rich (2644) after March. Joyce Runberg and Pat Rowley will be available 1st of May.

We want everyone to be aware that there are “care notes” at the medical center, compliments of the hospice. We have a special shelf at the library with books and videos. There is a loan closet at the Medical Center with helpful medical equipment that can be loaned out. We just got 2 new hospital beds. There are wheelchairs at the airport and boat dock, but we could really use some more if anyone wants to donate one. Thanks to everyone for the donations which allow us to continue with our work: Rosie Zajakowski, John and Pat Rowley in memory of John's sister. Holy Cross Parish, Bill McDonough who paid the boat freight to bring the new hospital beds over, Joe and Marilynn Reed, and the Ruth Hirshery memorial Fund.

I want to end with something Bobbie Byrd and Ron wrote entitled AS I PREPARE TO SAY GOODBYE: “We've done all we can.” the doctor sighed. “What happens now?” I thought. How can I tell family and friends that I'll soon have to say farewell? “In a hospital bed, with tubes protruding from every bodily orifice is not how I want my life to end,” I heard myself complain. My nurse suggested Hospice care and arranged it with my doctor. I can stay home with family and LIVE until I die. A team was formed to address our needs (care for bodies, spirits, minds) and I can still have some control because I'm a member of it too. I curl up in my favorite chair and even hug my dog while Hospice staff controls my pain. They're specialists at this. They support us through our tears and fears. They're not afraid to talk of dying. I feel their compassion in hugs and prayers. Some become like family. I'm thankful for their T.L.C. for me and for my loved ones. It's reassuring that they'll be there when it's my time to go. Hospice will help my family through their first year of grief. Knowing this eases my pain too as I prepare to say goodbye.

–Pat Rowley

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