Letter from George Elgstrand
Lillian Annie Vine
The Story of Florence Henders
LETTER FROM GEORGE ELGSTRAND
November 8, 2007
Crossroads Hospice Society
101 Noons Creek Drive
Port Moody, B.C.
Dear Friends & Care Givers
Enclosed is a small token of my deep appreciation for the loving care you gave to my dearest Lynne as she completed her life's journey. That same care and concern was extended to my family and I as we said goodbye to someone we loved and cherished so much, for that I will be forever grateful.
The process is a painful one and having your staff show such grace, the quiet surroundings giving such comfort, and the knowledge that the same journey was being shared by others were all comforting factors.
Were I able, my small gift would be much, much greater - the reality is, however, that it cannot be at this time.
I'm hopeful that as time passes I will be able to contribute more towards the God-sent work of the Hospice.
I wish you all the very best in the days, weeks and years to come and know that all who come to you in their time of parting will also be blessed as my Lynne was.
Thank you so very much.
In God's love
1017 Ogden Street
LILLIAN ANNIE VINE (March 23, 2007)
Re: Our Mom - Lillian Annie Vine
We, the children of Lillian Annie Vine would like to take this opportunity to say thank you.
OUR THANKS...to you, Linda. You were available and able to meet with each wave of incoming family. You kept us all on the same page with respect to Mom's Illness. You informed us of the process: arriving, residing and departing.
OUR THANKS...to Pete and his remarkable volunteers. We enjoyed the creativity of the art cart ladies. The one-on-one visitors gave us relief in knowing that someone would always be available for Mom. She enjoyed meeting and making new friends. She arrived on a Friday. She hadn't been in her room long, when the Tea Wagon showed up. She really enjoyed that "cuppa" tea, which was served in a beautiful china cup and poured from that exquisite teapot. And we could not have made it without the prayers, songs and hugs from your spiritual volunteers, Elly and Micky. And we shall not forget Winnie.
OUR THANKS...to the amazing cooks, Rhonda and Renatta. We enjoyed the wonderful smells permeating the air when we stepped out from the elevator. It was like coming home. Mom loved the food. She so enjoyed the small portions of tasty and beautifully presented, home cooked meals.
OUR THANKS...to the nursing staff, in particular Kristen. You made her comfortable. You took care of all the pain, albeit physical or emotional. You touched her heart and soul. You helped us to help her. Thank you for caring enough to provide such a high standard of care, and delivered with the utmost compassion and dignity. We could not have asked for any better than what you provided. Thank you for being there. And we will not forget Mom's Jamaica Rum Lady".
OUR THANKS...to Dr. Helen Arntsen and Dr. Kevin Sclater. You were always available and kept us informed about Mom's condition. You reassured us and addressed our "fears of the unknown". Mom was certainly in good hands. Your time and attention was very much appreciated.
OUR THANKS...to the housekeeping staff. You kept her lovely room clean and tidy. Your smiles and kind words will be remembered.
And finally, we would like to take this opportunity to let each of you know that we are so very thankful for the part you played in providing Mom with a chance to enjoy her final days. Our Dad died 10 months earlier and was not able to access palliative care. His death and dying was a difficult time for all of us, but in particular Mom. Upon arriving at Crossroads, Mom commented that Dad should have been here. You gave Mom a safe place to finally grieve for her sweetheart and husband of 55 years.
We really enjoyed our time with Mom. She was comfortable, happy and at peace. She was a delight. Mom was given a chance to reconnect with her siblings. And we had a chance to see a sweetness that pain had hidden away. You gave all of us a safe place to express our fears. You supported Mom and her family in such a meaningful way. None of us will ever forget Mom's peaceful passing and the part Crossroads played.
With thanks and appreciation
Irene M. Clarkson
Elleen A. Bird
Lorie J. Welly
Tom & Maxine Vine
p.s. Thank you for making such a difference
THE STORY OF FLORENCE HENDERS
Our mother, Florence Henders, was a patient at Crossroads Hospice for one week in June, 2006. She had suffered a debilitating stroke. Her right side was paralyzed and she had no voice.
During the family meeting, Linda Kozina asked us to think of ways in which the hospice team could make Mom's days at Crossroads more personal and meaningful. Immediately, music came to our minds.
Our mother had led a very long and full musical life. As a child, she was classically trained in piano and voice. She appreciated all types of music and even showed a genuine interest in the rock and roll music of the sixties that her daughters played as well as the alternative and rap music of her grandchildren. At the age of eight-six, she still sang in her church choir. Music was her joy.
Linda arranged to have a musician play in Mom's room. As the guitarist sang his folk repertoire, Mom intermittently tapped a finger on the bed, her only way of showing enjoyment.
Several days later, another musician played and sang for Mom. When the song "In the Garden" was played, I sang along too and glanced over at Mom. I couldn't believe what I saw. She was "singing"! Her mouth was open and moving without sound but she was singing! We couldn't hear the joy she was feeling but we could see it. This, for sure, was a poignant, tearful moment and oh, so magical.
We are very grateful that these musical opportunities that touched the depth of her heart were available to our Mom. Thank you Linda for your compassion.
"Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter". - John Keats
Submitted by Linda Kozina, Hospice Manager