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Two Lives, Two Hearts, One Journey

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The sunset road is tread by two. One is the individual with limited time left in life, and the other is the primary caregiver. Both are walking that road with all its twists and turns — sometimes uphill, sometimes down. Those who have never walked that road will get a glimpse of this experience through the eyes of 98-year-old Ann Bush, our inspiration, and her daughter Cornelia. Here is their story.

Cornelia

As a caregiver, I have learned to balance my life and work by being self-employed and working from home. It has made it possible to spend quality time with my Mother during our remaining years together. This time has been an unexpected gift for both of us. In conversation with Mom’s care team, I learned that there was an opportunity for her to stay at the Edward M. Poe Care Center for respite care. I had not known that there was a way for Mom to receive care that was not urgent care, where she would get the services she needs, and I would have time to take care of the things that I had put off for a while, such as my own medical needs, and catching up on needed rest. Mom was at the Poe Center for five days, and we spoke every day about the superlative care she was receiving. This is what we have learned to expect from St. Francis Reflections – everything about this organization, from the staff to the volunteers, is Love.

Ann

 As the transport team arrived at my home to take me to the Edward M. Poe Care Center, I was grateful for the care they provided to me. When I arrived, I was impressed with the beautiful grounds and building that was so handsomely designed. The loving care, which surrounded me from the first moment I entered, was so healing. I was particularly grateful for these 5 days as they gave some rest to my daughter, who is my caregiver.

I very much appreciated my sweet aide, Tyler, and the nurses who visit regularly throughout the day. There were personal visits to plan what I would like for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and on one of the days when I strolled out to the patio to continue my daily Laps of Love, I had the bonus of watching a space launch.

During my wonderful respite stay, I was charmed to have a patchwork quilt on my bed. Because of my insatiable curiosity, I found a little label that identified it as the volunteer work of “The Moonlight Quilters.” It reminded me of my dear grandmother who belonged to a church quilting bee in Texas. They made wonderful colorful quilts, and my particular favorite had been a patchwork quilt.

On my return home, I was astounded and delighted to find they packed the quilt from the Care Center in my suitcase. This has been such a loving experience. The pandemic has cast a chill over even the kindest places and events. I was lucky to have had this time.

Two hearts beating together and St. Francis has a mission to meet and exceed both of their needs in difficult times of life. It was our honor to do so for both Ann and Cornelia. We are very honored that Ann is determined to continue her Laps of Love to raise awareness and support for the programs of St. Francis.  Ann will celebrate 99 years young on October 27th!  We want to encourage you, your family and friends to join us on Walking Wednesdays to walk, run, or swim your own Laps of Love.  Ann is such an inspiration to us all!  You can celebrate Ann’s determination with a gift of $99 by texting Laps of Love to 41444 or visit our website at https://ReflectionsLSC.org/LapsOfLove.  If she can do it, so can you!

Birthday cards for Ann are being accepted through October 25th at either St. Francis Reflections office:

  • St. Francis Foundation, Attention:  Foundation/Laps of Love, 6905 N Wickham Rd Ste 403, Melbourne, FL 32940
  • St. Francis Foundation, Attention:  Foundation/Laps of Love, 1250-B Grumman Place, Titusville, FL 32780

To learn more about the Edward M. Poe Care Center visit https://ReflectionsLSC.org/services/care-center.

 Reflections of Life Articles: Fall 2022

Certifiable Compassion and Commitment

Every Veteran deserves a hero’s journey in end of life. St. Francis Reflection in pursuit of excellence has for the third year in a row, been certified with the Level V designation of the We Honor Veterans Program. 7% of the US population are Veterans 7.6% population of Florida are Veterans (third Highest behind California …

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NorthStar’s Shining Lights Interns and Outcomes

This year we have the opportunity to host three wonderful interns within the NorthStar Program. As students are progressing in their education this is one of the great ways to put theory into practice. NorthStar Coordinator Lynn Kiefer and the kids are the benefactors of these interns. They work with the children and youth within …

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You Make the Magic Happen

During the month of September the St. Francis Foundation reminded each staff member that they hold a wand of goodness and love. Each year we celebrate the commitment staff have in service to patients and families and honor them for their gifts over the year. Our staff members know first-hand some of the very needs …

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Holiday Tips

If you find yourself grieving the death of someone close to you, the thought of the holiday can be very overwhelming but there are things you can do to prepare. Be honest with how you are feeling to people close to you. If you agree to plans allow yourself the ability to not go of …

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Reflections of Love 2022

You are invited to join us for a beautiful free community memorial celebration and tree lighting in honor of those whose memory we will always cherish. November 17, 2022 at 6 pm Cocoa Riverfront Park, 401 Riveredge Blvd., Cocoa, Florida. For more information visit: Reflectionslsc.org/ROL2022 or text: ROL2022 to 41444.

Community Health Accreditation Program (CHAP)

St. Francis Reflections works diligently to care for patients and seeks to provide the safety and quality each person deserves. Our most recent unannounced surveys by CHAP in two St. Francis Reflections sites were unscheduled visits.  The outcome of both survey visits were no citations or findings. The average number of citations from CHAP nationally …

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Bonded with Love

Gifts come in many forms to foundations. Just recently St. Francis received some lovely savings bonds from a donor’s estate. This donor had been thoughtful in putting aside monthly through savings bonds over the years. It reminds me of having a piggy bank when I was a kid and putting money aside and then every once in a while taking it out and counting what was the grand total.
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