An unexpected gift

by Andrea Powell, HPCCR Marketing Manager

The quilt square lovingly made in honor of Shannon's mom, Yvonne.

The quilt square lovingly made in honor of Shannon’s mom, Yvonne.

I do a lot of writing for my job.  And because I do, I typically try to avoid clichés.  It’s not that clichés are bad, it’s just that I feel like I can come up with something on my own to express what I’m trying to say. But today, I’m resorting to a cliché because, well, sometimes a cliché perfectly conveys what it needs to.  So here it is:

Hospice is a gift that keeps on giving.

Yes, I’m sure you’ve heard that phrase a million times about a million other things, but when it comes to hospice care, it’s really true.  And I’ve got a story to prove it.

Shannon Armstrong has been a nurse since 2002; she is currently working toward her Masters in Nursing from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.  Through the course of earning this degree she has been meeting with a Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region nurse practitioner in our Medical Services department.  Well, at one of these meetings, Shannon looked up at the wall of our boardroom and was shocked to see something that she recognized.

It was a quilt square.  Made by her stepfather’s mother to honor the memory of Shannon’s own mother.

Shannon’s mother died in 1993 when Shannon was only 22 years old.  Her mom, Yvonne, was under the care of HPCCR (then called Hospice at Charlotte).  After Yvonne had passed away peacefully, Shannon’s step grandmother made the quilt square and, along with Yvonne’s name, included Shannon’s name and those of her stepfather and siblings.  Shannon had heard that the quilt square had gone to hospice, but she never saw it again.  Until November.  And that’s when she saw it hanging on the wall at the HPCCR office.

Shannon was shocked to see it but, at the same time, incredibly pleased.  She took a picture of the quilt square to send to her family members and she called her stepfather to let him know what she had seen.  Needless to say, he was just as thrilled.

When I talked to Shannon, I asked about her hospice experience with her mother all those years ago.  She had nothing but praise for the nurses who cared for her mom.  She said that the care team members helped her family know what to expect and were completely supportive throughout her mother’s illness.  When she saw the quilt square on the wall, she said that it made her feel like she was in the right place in her life.

You see why the cliché I picked is so appropriate?  The end-of-life care Shannon’s mom received in 1993 was certainly the original gift.  Seeing that quilt square on the wall of the hospice that cared for her mother over twenty years later?  Gift number two.  Being able to see, remember, and take pictures of the meaningful memento lovingly made in honor of Yvonne?  Gift number three.  Being able to share that picture with other family members who also loved Yvonne?  Another one. Seriously, I could go on and on.

Suffice it to say that hospice is a beautiful gift.  A gift that, without a doubt, keeps on giving.  Which is exactly what the cliché says.  And I honestly couldn’t say it any better.

Explore posts in the same categories: awareness, end of life, hospice

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One Comment on “An unexpected gift”

  1. Nancy Cole Says:

    Amazing how things like this happen. Shannon just happened to be in the right place at the right time to look up and see that quilt square.

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