TRESSIE QUINN 1916 – 2011
BSA Hospice 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.