Thursday, September 15, 2011

Memorial Service for Dad

Yesterday Mom and I went to a memorial service at the Grace Hospital for Dad and all the other residents who passed away at the Grace Hospital and the Grace Hospice. 

It was short but very emotional for the people who attended.  The minister read from one of her favourite books and the theme was how to live on an island.  She used the island as metaphor for people's lives - that there are times when you are afraid to go to the island because it can seem scary, lonely and isolating but there are some valuable lessons to be learned from the experience. 

She then asked each of us to take a stone from two containers that were passed around and we were asked to think of our loved one and how they were a part of our lives.  She said that we could keep the stone or throw it away when we were done our moment of silence.  I put mine in my handbag.

After that, Mom and I went over to the hospice which is right next door so that I could drop off a Thank You card for the staff.  It is overdue but it's hard to go there without thinking about Dad's last few months. Nurses Gaye and Linda were at the desk. I also had a chance to say hello to Mandi (Health Care Aide who used to give Dad his supper) and Tracy the cook who learned to cook curry just the way Dad liked it because he always said that it was "lovely".

They were happy to see us as we were to see them.  They are such great people.  They mentioned that the other Health Care Aide Chandal who used to help Dad with his breakfast has now enrolled in the Bachelor of Nursing program at Red River College. I'll have to make a point of visiting her when I am in the nursing building. She'll make a very wonderful nurse because she was very caring and attentive to Dad.  I was reminding Gaye yesterday that she no longer has to worry about suffocating from the copious amounts of powder that Dad used to use after his shower.  She said "Dood loooved his baby powder!"  Indeed he did. 

I told her to give our regards to the rest of the staff - Margaret, Janine, Monica (to name a few) and of course all the volunteers who sang, read, and wheeled around carts of tea and dainties each week. 

Thank You again to the Staff at Grace Hospice for being special people.  We are glad that you were with us on Dad's final part of his journey.


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