Sometimes I wonder…

I was talking with one of our volunteers, Peg McElroy,  in the Pensacola Branch Office the other day and she was telling me the story of a patient she had been visiting that touched her in a special way.  I found her story so moving, that I asked her to write it up so that I could share it with all of you.  Here’s what Peg had to say about her recent assignment as a Covenant Hospice Volunteer: 

 Maybe you aren’t like me, but I have to admit that some days I wonder if Covenant Hospice is where I am called to be.  Some days my body balks at leaving home whether it’s to visit a nursing home, help out with an administrative project or visit a patient.  I get up and go because I have made a commitment but it’s not always with a joyful spirit.

When I was asked to help my latest patient I had just recovered from surgery and still suffering from the loss of my sister to lung cancer.  When I read the patient information I was concerned because not only did the patient have a terminal illness but she also suffered from other physical and mental complications.

Today I thank God that I went… initially out of commitment but soon out of caring.  I have never before known anyone who had no one in their lives…I mean totally alone.  No friends from the neighborhood, church, work environment….totally alone.  She is not anyone I could imagine having met outside of Covenant.  Our paths would never have crossed.  As I came to know her, I came to love her.  Yes, she had many problems but she also had a good heart and an intact sense of humor.  Over the months I was with her we both laughed and cried together.  Most days she was as concerned about me “overdoing” as I was about her health and happiness.

She had one family member miles away who cared but was unable to stay here with her.  Other than that she had the Covenant staff who shared their time and love with her.  She called them her “angels” from God.  She felt blessed and loved by all of them and by me, but the true blessing is what I received from knowing and loving her.  As I said, I was concerned about visiting her because my sister had just died from the same disease.  What I found was that in helping her I felt less grief over the fact that my sister had been miles away and I wasn’t able to help her with daily things.  I am grieving today because she has gone but I am happy to know she is not lonely anymore and no longer suffers.  My last conversation with her was the night before she died and our last words to each other were “I love you and will see you tomorrow. “

 Thanks to Covenant for allowing me to receive such a wonderful gift and to my friend…..I love you and look forward to seeing you again.

Thank you to Peg for sharing her touching story and to all of our generous volunteers for the love and support that they provide to our patients everyday!  Do you think you have some extra love to give?  Contact a Volunteer Manager at Covenant Hospice to learn more about ways that you can help!


2 Responses to “Sometimes I wonder…”

  1. I know Peg personally and can tell you that this Covenant patient had one of our best! It is a beautiful story that exemplifies the true heart of Hospice.

  2. What a wonderful story. It never ceases to amaze me how much we receive in return when we give of ourselves. Thank you for reminding me of that, Miss Peg.

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