Friday, December 13, 2013

Thanksgiving Journey

By the second bite of Thanksgiving Day butternut squash, it was evident something was terribly wrong. When we reached the hospital, it was clear nothing would ever be the same. Mom had suffered a massive stroke that left her rigid, unable to swallow and - for the most part - unable to speak. Some of her utterances were clearer than others, as were her tears that intermingled with Dad's and mine.

I won't bore you with details of the indignities of her hospital stay. Fortunately, an intuitive social worker was able to steer us toward hospice care for Mom when the inevitability of her condition was realized. Moving from the hospital to an in-patient hospice facility was like moving from the bleakest of days to a cozy fireside chair, so great was the tender care with which we were met. Thus began a new journey of thanksgiving for a life well-lived.

Mom had endured the ravages of multiple sclerosis for more than 50 years. Yet, her strength and bravery in the face of her final battle still managed to surprise her family and hospice professionals involved in her care. Dad and I were both by her side when she took her final breath on December 16, 2002. I look forward to further sharing with you some of the poignant lessons learned in Mom's final days.

For those of you who have suffered loss and grief through the holiday season - and may be experiencing it at this moment - please know the images that may be troubling you now will gentle over time. For those of you questioning whether hospice care is the right decision for your loved one, please don't delay in making the decision to give the gift of dignity, comfort and peace.

This blog entry was written by Laura Adams, Administrative Assistant to The Arbor Hospice Foundation. You may contact Laura by commenting below or emailing her at


  1. "Please know the images that may be troubling you now will gentle over time." What a wonderful phrase, Laura, that captures how our memories of loved ones evolve. Thanks for sharing your poignant story…