Everyone who works at Hospice of East Texas, staff and volunteers alike, has heard this comment… “I don’t know how you do it. It must be so sad.”
The truth is, yes, there are many sad moments, but there are also moments of such sweetness and even moments of unspeakable joy. Our work here is like itself, a mixture of pain and sadness, balanced by moments of joy and even celebration.
Two days before Christmas, we admitted a young woman to hospice care, too young to be dying of terminal cancer, too young to be leaving a two year old daughter. Adding to that unimaginable tragedy were her family’s circumstances, a disabled husband, desperate poverty, a home that was more a shed than a house fit for people, cold weather, no coats, her little girl without a pair of shoes that fit. Certainly, there was no Christmas either, nor even the thought of one.
But then, as they always do, the people of Hospice of East Texas went into action. They called their coworkers, their friends and neighbors. They dug deep into their own pockets. The necessities, food and cash and shoes and coats, started piling up, and so did the fun things, stuffed animals, candy, silly little girl treasures. Already on a tight holiday schedule, with lots of work and their own families to take care of, people stayed late, worked the phones, went out of their way to pick up donations. A Hospice of East Texas medical equipment van became Santa’s sleigh, delivering comfort and joy to a family who had no expectation of either.
Yes, there is sadness and tragedy in the work we do at Hospice, no doubt about it. There is nothing good about this young woman’s situation, and she and her family have a rough journey ahead. But the people of Hospice of East Texas will be there for them, not just at Christmas but in the months to follow, working to smooth and balance their tragedy with comfort and kindness and generosity.
We can do that because of your support. For thirty five years, generous friends in our communities have upheld our mission, making sure that Hospice of East Texas was here to help families like this and thousands of others. Because of you, we can provide our unique brand of extraordinary end-of-life care to everyone who needs it. And because of you, we can go above and beyond when circumstances call for it, creating a little joy to balance the sadness, sharing some good to smooth the bad.