A Grateful Daughter Shares Her Family's Story

"It’s beautiful,” my mom would say. Everything was beautiful to my mom, but the irony is that she was blind.  

My mom, Alice, was a woman who saw beauty in every part of life. She was one of 15 children, married at the age of 16. Every person she met during her lifetime became a fast friend. Mom was always singing a hymn during the day and was known for her beautiful melodies. Mom wasn’t completely perfect though . . . You have never met a worse cook. She thought putting mayonnaise in mashed potatoes would make them fluffy! Imagine that! When I was growing up, mom, dad, and a few of her siblings shared a home. All of the kids were “interchangeable”. It did not matter who was looking after us in the family, we were just one group of people. That’s how close we were.  

A little bit before Thanksgiving 2020, Mom went in for a regular checkup and her doctors found that her kidneys were no longer working. Because of a preexisting heart condition, she was not a candidate for dialysis. I had a previous experience with hospice and asked the physician right away if mom could get hospice care.  

I know the staff would “sneak” on over to our house more than they were scheduled to, just to see Mom. She really enjoyed their company and comfort. Home hospice is an amazing experience. There is such a sense of peace from having your loved one home with you in their final moments. Providing care at their bedside and consoling them as they take their last breath is a gift that cannot be overstated. It is incredibly comforting to have the all of the services that hospice provides wrapped around you during this tender time.

As mom’s primary caregiver, I felt so supported by the staff. It can be wearying to be alone with someone who is that sick. Knowing someone is coming out to check on how you and your loved one are doing, gives you “light” to make it through the day. Even though Mom was facing end-of-life, this was not a “morbid” experience. Everyone always looked forward to the next day. Each day was celebrated. I believe my mom lived longer because of hospice care! Mom always found pleasure in the little things. She enjoyed the beauty in each person who would come and visit. It seemed that Mom lifted up the workers just as much as they lifted her as she journeyed toward end of life.  Mom continued to live out her purpose of teaching us all how to see beauty even during her final days.

The Duke HomeCare & Hospice workers are the most wonderfully upbeat people you could see in a moment of time that you will never get to experience again. When you make a financial gift to this organization, you can see the money in action. The courageous staff are here in our homes when sick people are dying. Most of us are afraid of death and these staff walk in fearlessly. That is not what doctors and nurses are supposed to do. They are supposed to fix people. They do this work at end of life willingly and with dignity. That is priceless!  My journey continues as I have now begun using the bereavement services to help me work through my own feelings about losing Mom. As Mom would say, “hospice is beautiful”.

Thank you from my family for your past gifts that have helped shape Duke HomeCare & Hospice. I hope you will consider making another gift so that they can continue to provide this service to all of us in the community.

Yvonne D. Davis
A grateful daughter



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