My Connect to Purpose Moment

It was 2006 when I met Mrs. Vivian “Tommy” Adams while collecting narratives for the Faces of Life book, a collection of stories from Covenant patients and family members.  Mrs. Tommy had dementia, but to look in her face was to know that she was, and always had been, all about kindness and giving and love.  Cared for by her doting daughter, she told me the story of her life over a visit of a couple of hours and gave me a gift that I’ve held dear ever since.  It’s been some years since the Faces of Life book was published, but I have thought of my time with Mrs. Tommy each and every day since.  It’s one of those moments in our work here at Covenant Hospice that reaffirms that we are in the right place, doing the right thing.  And at those times when the job seems too tough, it’s a memory that I have to hold on to that pushes me to keep on going.  I believe that as Covenant staff and volunteers, we all need those “connect to purpose” moments.  I thought that this month, I might share one of my most special connect to purpose moments with you.  Once again, here is Vivian “Tommy” Adams’ story—one of the many reasons I find my work here at Covenant Hospice to be so important.  My hope for each and every one of you is that if you haven’t already, you will find one of your own.  

Vivian’s Treasures

From Covenant Hospice’s “Faces of Life” Stories

When you look in a dictionary under the word “housewife”, Vivian Adams’ picture should appear.  Known to many as the “perfect housewife”, Vivian is an excellent cook, seamstress, decorator and floral designer.  There is nothing domestically that Vivian cannot do. 

Vivian learned to cook on a wood stove on her family’s 300-acre farm when she was just six years old!  Later on in her life to make extra money, she sold what she cooked to friends and others in the community—her delicious homemade cakes for $16 each.  Married to a military man, she loved making a house into a home during their many moves and travels.  But, there was one special thing that Vivian did for many people throughout the years—she made the most beautiful detailed and exquisite Christmas ornaments.  As Vivian picks them up out of boxes that are by her side, they are all different shapes and include many different materials such as beads, lace, pearls, Vivian’s own fashion jewelry and satin.  Her Christmas ornaments were so beautiful that she and her husband kept the Christmas tree up all year round, so that they could enjoy the craft she loved so dearly. 

Today, Vivian keeps the boxes of ornaments by her side.  Because of her failing eye sight and shaky hands, she can’t make any more ornaments, but she enjoys giving visitors one of her treasured ornaments to take home to hang on their Christmas tree.  After all, she says if there was any advice that she could give someone it would be to learn to love and learn to give.  Vivian finds happiness in bringing a smile to someone’s face when she gives them one of her treasures.


As I left Mrs. Tommy’s home that day, she invited me to choose an ornament to take with me for my own Christmas tree.  From the hundreds, I chose a beautiful pink jeweled bulb, knowing that her hands had created each tiny detail with purpose and love.  I couldn’t bear to box that ornament up all year long, only to enjoy it on my Christmas tree.  I’ve kept the ornament in my office, never out of eye sight, for all these years as a reminder of that sweet lady that touched my heart so many years ago.  It is one of my most treasured possessions and a constant reminder that the work we all do here at Covenant Hospice, staff and volunteers alike, is important to so many special people.  

We would love to hear your “Connect to Purpose” moment.   





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