“The cold, patient room seemed to close in on us as the doctor closed the door behind her.
We had been in this same room hundreds of times with the same familiar faces and routine. Office visits and doctors were a part of our normal.
I tried to smile brave when the doctor said the word ‘hospice.’ All I really wanted to do was scream and fall to the floor.
I held my mom’s hand and did my best to be strong for her. Tears rolled down both our cheeks as we listened to what we thought was a ‘death sentence.’ All we had really known about hospice, up to this point, was that hospice meant ‘the end.’
Little did I know, that what it really meant was… I got to share, in what came to be, the year of the longest good-bye with my sweet mom.
Hospice is where freedom was found on a cold, winter March day.
Hospice is where courage slowly took over fear;
Where nurses listened and brought care;
Where gumption and gratitude became a way of life;
Where peace replaced repeated ambulance rides and hospital visits;
Where comfort was traded for poking and prodding and endless tests;
Where home became the setting in her two story, instead of waiting rooms and long, cold hallways;
Where blessings ran over and filled our cups for over 1 year… until she took her last peaceful breath.
My mom’s story got to have a different ending… because of Hospice.
My mom’s story got to have a better ending… because of Hospice.
It was the year of the longest goodbye.
I am blessed and filled with gratitude because of it.”
Written by Gretchen Burk, daughter of Patty Palmer