Making Moments Count
While the old, wrinkled and bent fingers were shaky, they knew from experience what to do, how much to use and when to add it. Like the comfort of old shoes, familiarity took over from years of sifting the white flour and adding just the right amount of cocoa to the mix.
Several residents and their family members gathered around Charlie to watch and applaud his step-by-step progress. Charlie stopped to take in all the attention when one bystander asked when Charlie was going to create the frosting. “I will be your tasting buddy when you get to that point,” he said in rapt anticipation.
Charlie appreciated the offer, which opened up floodgates of taster volunteers stepping forward. Charlie’s cake baking was the show and he was enjoying each moment.
As the word spread quickly that Charlie was creating one of his chocolate taste treats, more gathered in the dining area to watch. In his career years, Charlie was a baker extraordinaire who spent his working life at one of Denver’s downtown hotels. Now, a Hospice patient, Charlie was proud to share his skill and love of baking with his new family of staff, volunteers and other residents.
Passing the dining area, one of the newest patients to be admitted stood at the doorway and watched. Frances smiled, recalling that this is exactly why she chose the Hospice of Saint John, where the philosophy was about life and living.
Hospice should be about valuing each minute and “participating” as long as possible, such as Charlie mixing the ingredients for the cake. Some, who don’t know Hospice or the Hospice of Saint John, would imagine that Hospice is about staring at the walls or watching loved ones who are trying to have polite conversation. Some Hospices are real, genuine and still let the “candle flame” cast light.
Charlie finished his task at hand as the Dietary Manager, Paul, took it into the kitchen to bake and then share with all — just one activity of many at the Hospice. Choose light, life and fulfilled moments, even to the end.
By Sharon Cooper, M.Ed.
Hospice of Saint John