Stories and poems written by or about hospice staff, patients, families or volunteers . . . <B> Stories and poems written by or about hospice staff, patients, families or volunteers . . .</b>

A letter from a patient's son
In Memory

Swift indeed are the years,
as they pass on their way.
Threading beautiful memories of love,
into our lives every day.
Ever changing it seems to keep
abreast of the times.
Removing at will many loved ones
to the sound of soft chimes.
Lost to us this dear person
with soul so sublime.
In our hearts we'll remember,
until the end of our time.
Now gone from this world,
in death's form of departing.
Grieve not, in disguise death may well be,
life's true beginning.

Antone S, a hospice patient

A new pattern

A new pattern lies before you--
as clean as driven snow.
Be careful as you tread it,
for every mark will show.
And when your life if over
and you the path have trod,
May you live forever
in perfect peace with God.

And always remember, there's
no such thing as happiness;
just the anticipation and the memory.
And when you're so far down you
have to reach up to touch rock bottom--
Well, that's when things start looking up
and as Gilda would say, "It's always something."
And if all else fails, as E.T. would say,
"Phone home"--
that number is 870-1955
as my mom would say.
Angela Prindle, RN 1991

The following was brought to our attention by one of our patients:

This Day

This is the beginning of A New Day. GOD has given me this day to use as I see fit. I can waste it or grow in its light and be of service to others. But what I do with this day is important because I have exchanged a day of my life for it. When tomorrow comes, today will be gone forever. I hope I do not regret the price I paid for it.

How do you take your coffee? . . . One of our patients tells the story about being in a hospital Emergency Room, waiting word about his wife's (Rosa) condition. The ER staff kindly suggested, "Help yourself to some coffee." Don thought that would be a good idea. When he went to get a cup of coffee, he could not find any cups. He inquired of the person who had originally suggested he have some coffee, where he might find a cup. "Oh," she replied, "we're out of cups."

The Great Shore Beyond

GRAMMAR

PREPOSITIONAL PHRASES ARE WORDS
LINKED TO EACH OTHER.
ENDEAVORING WITH VERBS, ADVERBS, NOUNS
AND GRAMMATICAL BOTHER.
GRAPHICALLY DISPLAYING EACH NUANCE AND MEANING.
GRAMMAR WISE I'M NOT CERTAIN
I'LL EVER BE LEARNING.
YET I WRITE WORDS AT RANDOM
AND PLACE THEM IN RHYME.
FAR TOO MANY YEARS HAVE PASSED
AND I HAVE SO LITTLE TIME.
AS PRONOUNS, CONJUCTIONS, ADJECTIVES
AND VERBS ALL DESCRIBE.
LETTER PERFECT EACH SENTENCE
THAT MY PEN DOES NOT SCRIBE.
EVEN THO NOUN MARKERS AND HELPERS OF VERBS
ALL SHOW ME THE WAY.
THAT WORDS ARE TO BE WRITTEN AS
IN THE PAST AND TODAY.
TAKEN FOR GRANTED, WORDS IN
ORAL FORM ARE NOT QUITE THE SAME.
INDEED PARTS OF THE SPEECH ARE, I BELIEVE,
THE NAME OF THE GAME.

ANTONE S, HOSPICE PATIENT

St. Elmo's Fire

On all the seas ships have sailed,
for many and many a year.
Encountering storms of wind and rains,
and reefs that mariners fear.
From port to port they plied their trade,
moving with wind and sail.
And sailors spoke of wondrous things,
tho each told a different tale.
Of serpents and monsters from the deep,
they all saw.
But one eerie green light held them,
in the greatest of awe.
It bespoke of disaster, of the fulfillment,
of a sailor's desire.
Marking a safe passage to home port,
or perhaps something dire.
On spars and lanyards the ships,
all aglow in ghostly attire.
A beautiful phenomenon known,
as St. Elmo's Fire.

Antone S, Hospice patient

The following is a poem written by the wife of one of our patients:

HOSPICE

Since we are both
Getting old,
There's something
That should be told.

There have been many
Blessings in our life;
Tho, there have been times
Of worry and strife.

Day after day,
Year after year,
God has always
Been very near.

Some blessings were large.
Some were small.
But God through his love
Has sent them all.

This year a blessing
Filled with care and love
Has descended upon us
Like a dove.

You've heard of this blessing
And so have I
Its hard to describe
But, I'd like to try.

They pay the doctor,
They buy your pills,
Can you believe
They pay all the cancer bills?

They come by
To see how you're feeling.
I'll tell you--
This is most appealing.

They always come
With a smile on their face,
A soft voice, and
Good manners and grace.

If you need something
at twelve a.m.,
That isn't a bad time
For any of them.

They answer softly
On the phone
But if you're afraid
They'll come to your home.

With a word of assurance,
A hug, and a pat--
What a blessing it is
To welcome people like that!

They share your joys.
They share your woes.
Wherever they're needed
That's where Hospice goes.

Of course, my Dear,
You already knew
"Hospice" was what
I was describing to you.

So it was Hospice
With its care and its love
That descended on us
Quietly--Like a dove.

This year when our life
Is torn all asunder
Hospice is truly
A thing of wonder.

Coming into our life
Quietly as a dove
It is a perfect example
Of God's kind of love.

From my heart to yours,
Mary M, wife of hospice patient

I know that Hospice is a business
But no one would ever know it
Because the people who work for Hospice
Never, never show it.

A Smile

A smile expresses pleasure,
and lights up one's eyes.
It also gives delight
to anyone that cries.
Sorrow, pain, and hardships,
with a smile can be fought.
And eased are our problems, and,
a smile can not be bought.
It spreads from a love and
a heart of compassion.
As a fad of the universe,
a smile's quiet the fashion.
It brings joy to all,
and is paid in return.
Passed from face to face,
and one never has to earn.
The respect and the friendship,
as a smile will always give.
And best of all it can be given,
for as long as we live.

Antone S, hospice patient

The following poem was written by one of our nurses who worked for our Hospice from 1988 to 1991:

MY PATIENT, MY FRIEND

by Stephanie Fulmer, R.N.

You enter my world in sorrow, lonely and afraid.
And I am here to meet you with whatever comfort
A caring friend can bring.

How quickly we learn to love
Knowing joy and sorrow
Finding tears of laughter in unexpected places
As we fight the endless pain
With little words which have big meanings
And gentle touches which show great love.

And when your weary body
Gives up your soul in peace,
I dry my eyes and face the sun
And go to greet another friend.

Dr. Hopkins has ben the Team 1 Physician since 1987. His avocation is "stargazing."

Oh, I sailed on my ship of glass
upon a sea of stars,
outward bound toward the Milky Way
past Saturn, Jupiter and Mars.

Star clusters, nebulae and galaxies
caused amazement and delight.
Diamonds, jewels, and strings of pearls were there,
not hidden by the cities' light.

The journey lasted from
darkness until dawn's light,
when these splendors fade away,
fortunately to return the following night.

These splendors of the Heavens
are eternal for all generations to see,
and generate within us
inner peace and tranquillity.

Donald H. Hopkins, M.D. 1994

A Thought
Take the long day's inventory
just before you go to bed.
When the lights are
dimmed and shaded
and the last goodnight's been said.
Sitting in your comfy armchair
just before the fireside's glow,
Take the long day's inventory
Look it over sure and slow.
Take the long day's inventory
Just before you go to sleep.
Plan to live tomorrow better.
Strive to make it more complete.
Then that day will be the best one,
and with peace your soul will fill,
For you have the joy of knowing You have done the Master's will.

Grace Scruggs--PCG of a Team 476 patient.

A href="distinction.html"> DISTINCTION

(Read at the funeral of a Team 476 patient who was a farmer)
There's something about a farmer,And has been from the start,
Though what it is I do not know,
That sets him far apart
From other people whom I've met
And puts him in a class
All by himself and in which he
All others can surpass.

There's something about a farmer,
Most everyone you meet,
Which causes you to recognize
Him on a city street.
It's not because he tries to be
Different from all the rest
Of us who are sometimes inclined
To think we are the best.

There's something about a farmer,
Perhaps his sun-tanned face.
That gives to him a different look
From others of his race.

Perhaps his shoulders,
slightly stooped;
Clothes showing signs of wear;
Also his long and steady stride,
Give him a different air.

There's something about a farmer,
Most of us haven't got;
How to smile and keep on going
When things have gone to pot;
To help a neighbor when he's down'
Doctor the ills of beast;
BE on the job before the sun
Arises in the east.

There's something about a farmer,
Inherited at his birth,
That causes him to later be
The best upon the earth.
And as he grows up to manhood
He learns most everything.
And so I now feel that I should
Loudly his praises sing.

T.N. (Ted) Ratliff
(Uncle of Ralph Starling)

LIFE MOVES ON

Life moves on,
From birth to life, to life eternal,
From past to present and on into the future.
We remember clearly those who have passed on,
Those who have made deep impressions on our lives.
Those people who touched our lives with words happy and sad,
Who many times gave more to us than we gave to them.

Life moves on,
From Fall to Winter, Spring to Summer,
From times of depression to times of inspiration and gladness.
Not forgotten are those we have shared life with.
Special people are they, our family and close friends,
Those people who have touch our lives with laughter and tears,
Who have taught us much about life.

Life moves on,
From shock to denial and on to acceptance,
From times of intense emotional pain to times of consolation.
Our garden is full of memories of those we hold so dear.
We remember the acts of kindness and of tender touch,
From those people we have learned to hug and smile; They also remind us that life moves on

Chaplain Jim Osborne
April 1, 1995

Trouble . . . it's easy to get into, but terrible to get out of. Florine Perry 1995

Dr. Wright-isms
(Favorite sayings gleaned from Dr. Wright,
Our Hospice Medical Director)

If you are going out on a limb, make sure someone knows where the tree is.

Reality is what you perceive it to be. So do not let others tell you what is or is not. Truth is, and always has been, subjective, not objective. Those who would measure the world never learn the real truths. Those who perceive the world find all the answers.

The prognosis is not what is the stage of the disease, but rather what is the stage of the patient.

(In response to: I saw a dermatologist about a nasty red patch on my skin. I asked if would get better, but he said he didn't want to make any rash promises.)
Then you will probably have a rosy future.

Hospice Case Study by Mary L. McCurry, RN, CHPN

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