Comments from families of our patients
God Always Picks the Best
In memory of Charles Cowan, 1947 – 2012
We want to say we thank you, but words are not enough to say how really great you are for helping all of us. You did everything you could for Charles every day, and if he needed anything, you were never far away. No one else in all the world means half as much as you. We all love you very much for all the things you do. We were all so lucky to have you for a friend; You did everything you could until the very end. God knew what He was doing; He said you’d do the rest. He knew you’d take care of Charles… that’s why he picked the best.
Dear Hospice Care of the Southwest, I have tried for two weeks to find just the right words to express how I feel about you people at Hospice. You took such loving care of my dad, Joe Wieck, for the six months before he went home to his loving Father in Heaven! Words alone can’t say what is in my heart... but, I will try. You came and bathed him in a bathroom too hot to breathe in. You made his bed just the way he like it – sheets not tucked in. You tended to his flaking skin problem with such love. You washed his hair without getting soap in his eyes and shaved his face with such tenderness. You got his ice water just the way he liked it. You came every time Dad had a problem. You came and you did what needed to be done. You were there every time he needed you! You made my Dad’s last days here on earth so much better. Tana, you came in and made him laugh. You talked with him about his family, his stamps, his travels, and about the love of his life – my Mom. You heard the passion in my brother’s voice about his corn crop, and his family, too. Sharla, you and Tana made my Dad’s last days better, easier, and full of love. What more could I have ever asked for?!! For this, I THANK YOU ALL! You loved my Dad without thoughts for yourselves. I think you are all ANGELS! You loved my Dad right into heaven. I thank God for you. May God bless you each with every good thing in this life and in the next.
John “Jake” Hackler 1927 - 2009
To all my friends at Hospice Care of the Southwest, you do a lot of good in this world and you probably don’t even know it. When you get up in the morning and make your plans for the day, they mostly likely don’t include: • Be a positive presence in the world. • Smile in a way that touches people’s hearts. • Be open, helpful, tolerant, and a joy to be around. But, that’s what happens... that’s who you are. And however you manage it, this one thing is for sure… You make the world a better place JUST BY BEING IN IT! I can’t thank you ALL enough for ALL your care for Jake – and for me since he went away. I’ll never forget, and Neither Will God!!
Lorraine Nobby Moran 1925 - 2008
I am grateful to praise Hospice Care of the Southwest. As my Mother, Lorraine Moran once said: “I want to give a public bouquet to an institution that I feel deserves one.” For almost 50 years, she practiced and taught the art of nursing with deep passion. Nursing was her genius. She maintained and expected a meticulous, very high standard of professional responsibility. The patient always came first. Those who appreciated that fact knew and loved her as “Nobby”. However, she did not suffer fools in what she saw as a most noble profession. Those who did not provide the highest quality of care nicknamed her “Raven Moran.” To me, she was always “Momma.” Momma struggled with cancer the last twenty years. It became terminal in 2006. Doctors gave her six months. Momma knew the local medical community inside and out. She had her pick of end-of-life caregivers. With this most-important decision, she put her faith in Hospice Care of the Southwest. They honored that trust, and exceeded our expectations, every step of the journey. Momma outlived her diagnosis by over two years. I was always thankful for Hospice’s presence, but did not fully understand or appreciate the depth of their service until after Momma passed. Grieving a parent is an intense, life-changing experience. Hospice entered the process and provided a level of support I simply did not expect. Please know that Hospice Care of the Southwest has had a powerful, positive impact on my Family’s life. From experience, I believe that they are an indispensable asset to the greater-Amarillo community.
Linda McVay March 1943 – January 2010
Dear friends at Hospice Care of the Southwest, What a great experience our family had with you folks! Your team was very respectful of us, our needs, and our preferences. You explained everything so well. You helped us realize that entering hospice doesn’t mean that suddenly you are going to die. Your care kept Linda comfortable and allowed her to spend more quality time with me, her husband, and extended family. She especially enjoyed every moment she had with her grandchildren and great grandchildren, whom she loved and adored. The doc was great! Linda liked the doctor because he came to our house with his little black bag! He listened to her and carefully explained everything, including what the medications would do for her. Your nurse, Linda’s case manager, did everything she could to make my wife comfortable. She took her time, talking and listening, and that was a comfort. She did her best for Linda, and Linda really liked her. The hospice home health aide took very good care of Linda. She bathed her, changed the bed linens, and even washed some of our dirty clothes. Her attitude was that she was going to do everything she could for us. She really cared! The team’s social worker helped with many practical matters, even with our bills. She was able to “go to bat for us” and even got a couple of our debts forgiven! Our chaplain offered help through prayers and providing a good listening ear during the times we needed to talk. The bereavement coordinator was there to support both of us, too. He was especially helpful to me. He listened to us, prayed with us, and even took me to lunch for private visits. He has stayed in touch even after Linda’s death. My family continues to get good support from your hospice. The Bottom Line to anyone reading this: I would highly recommend Hospice Care of the Southwest to everyone! The way they took care of Linda and supported us really sold me on them!
Anthony “Tony” Roberts July 24, 1958 – December 28, 2009
From Lori: You are all truly a blessing to our family. Thank you so much for the care, kindness, and comfort.
From Tina: You all are a wonderful bunch of people! God bless you! You will never know how you have blessed my family. You were all angels sent from heaven! Thank you!
From Leann, Amy, Jennifer and Jolene: There are no words to describe the blessing you guys have been to me and the whole Roberts family! God Bless You!
From Faye: As Tony’s mother, I’m so thankful he had your soft and sweet hands on him. Thanks for the love you showed him and us!
From Tanja and Keili: Thank you so much for all you did for my baby brother and my family. I knew the team was wonderful, but to experience it first hand was a blessing in a time of real sadness. Thanks! I love you all!
From Nina: Thanks!
Love, from Bailey & Sydnee: Thank you for caring for my Pawpee.
Tressie Quinn August 8, 1916 – June 19, 2011
Hospice Care of the Southwest helped my Mother, Tressie Quinn – and ME! From the beginning, you folks listened to my frustration and fatigue with compassion, but you balanced that with Mother’s complaints. You had a way of validating and addressing her concerns while still understanding mine. Your visits to Mother were not just for health care, or personal care. I loved the way you offered care for the whole human being… and not just for the patient, but for our whole family. You laughed with Mother, teased her, honored her, and befriended her. You stimulated her emotionally and fed her spiritually. You validated her complaints and you never, ever, forgot your number one responsibility: You were Mother’s chief care-givers and her staunch advocates. While I might excuse things away, you did not. You held her facility caregivers accountable to make sure Mother received the care she needed and deserved. I thank you for that. I felt Mother had a team of real “rat terriers” looking out for her! During Mother’s final journey to her eternal abode, you gave us even more of your loving, emotional care. You eased her into the new reality of her situation and helped calm her anxiety and fear. I thank you so much for that. The last few weeks were very hard to get through. I knew the window of time was closing. I knew Mother’s days were numbered, yet it was so hard to visit her. The time I spent with her left me emotionally drained and grief-stricken. Cognitively, she was in and out, mostly out. Then, there came a time of wakefulness. It was at this time that “I got my Mom back!” The woman I grew up with, who had stayed up all night to finish my prom dress, even though she had to get up and go to work the next day, the woman who always knew what to do and say to make me feel special…my loving, generous- spirited, sweet, thoughtful Mother was back. She told me of her visits to heaven – of seeing my Dad and my Grandmother. She described their beautiful gardens, how happy they were, and how heaven was amazing with such beautiful music! Through your wise counsel and God’s grace, my angry heart was softened and Mother’s anxious heart was given peace. We had lovely talks near the end, were able to forgive each other and share so many memories and words of love. It was a time of special blessing for both of us. When her death was just hours away, when it was so hard for me to watch her struggle for every breath, Hospice Care of the Southwest sent two more angels our way: Terry & John, two of your wonderful volunteers. They had been her special canasta friends as hospice volunteers for about a year. Terry always has a smile to go along with her sparkling eyes, and John, as a retired Methodist minister, brought Mother Communion – something which was very special to her. There at the end, they were able to be with her when I could not, sitting with her while she journeyed home. I will tell you all – yours is not a job, or even a profession – it is a calling, a ministry. You say you are honored to walk with your patients and their families on their journey, and we are blessed to have your companionship. You gave me understanding and encouragement. You gave Mother recognition and validation. You gave me sympathy and prayers when my load was too heavy or seemed so unfair. You gave Mother dignity and love as her life was slipping away. Thank you for sharing this time, this journey with us! Even after Mother’s death, you called me, cried with me, and even went to see my sweet Mother at the funeral home. That is more than dedication. You folks are like family to me, and I am so grateful God found you for us.
Comments from attendees of our Grief Support Series
It was most helpful for me to be in a setting where I could express myself and cry when necessary.
I appreciated the fact that I could talk about things that most of the people around me don’t want me talking about. I would like to see your group meetings extended by a couple of weeks!
I was certainly glad to hear that NO ONE can put my grief on their timeline!
The grief support group helped me know that I am not alone... that there are people in this world who care and are willing to help me during this tough time in life.
I liked the fact that I could talk with and be around other people who are grieving.
It was “eye opening” to learn that others were having the same feelings and going through some of the same things that I’ve been experiencing!
The most helpful thing for me was finding the openness and free discussion around the table.
I thought I was going CRAZY!! The grief support group helped me realize that I was not the only one going through this thing called grief.
It was great to learn about resources (the notebook of handouts and recommendations of grief books I can read) AND to hear the stories of others who are going through grief.
I was glad to see how others in the group are coping with their grief. It was a learning experience for me!
It is so helpful to be able to talk about how I am feeling in front of others who are experiencing some of the same feelings I have. They really DO know how I feel!
It was so special to be in the company of such great hearted people – courageous, loving, kind people – who could be so open with each other. Attending the group meetings helped me realize that I have never really had any coping skills to deal with challenges in my life.
I liked the fact that we really LISTENED to each other!
It helped me to be able to cry in the group and not feel like I had to “suck it up” in front of others. I never felt embarrassed if I “lost it” in the group.
Attending the group made me realize that I’m not really alone.
I was glad to be around people who really tried to understand me!
The group experience helped me realize how much grief relates to other areas of my life. It was good to have such a safe setting in which to share.
Even though I knew it in my head, it helped to relate to others who were experiencing things similar to me. Just hearing someone say out loud what I was feeling really helped!
Being in the group helped me understand the “roller coaster” of grief – why I may be “up” one moment and “down” the next.
It helped me to know that not everyone grieves the same way!