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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: April 2022

Calling All Hearts

What does it take to make a day better and brighter for those we serve? Our volunteers look for those opportunities. Sometimes it is a phone call, a personal visit or a hand written note of encouragement. Sometimes it is bringing lovely therapy pets to those who need a little snuggle and love. Sometimes it …

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All You Need is Love

They say to make life wonderful – All You Need is Love and A Little Help From My Friends well Rockin’ the Sunset certainly had that and much more. In the midst of days with cold, rainy forecasts the night was clear and the temperature perfect. We rocked the sunset with Liverpool Live. The band …

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We PAWS to Honor Ruth

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Hats Off means the FUN is ON

Hats Off For Kids is a Kentucky Derby styled event and hat contest. Bring your Derby hat to enter into the contest with themes including: Kraziest hat, Space Coast themed hat, Favorite Movie themed hat and Most Elegant hat. Prizes will be awarded for each theme, but the real winners will be the families of …

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The Doctor Is In – Elementary School

The weather may have been gloomy outside, but inside the Children’s Center in Titusville it was all fun and education. Children received a special teddy bear who was their patient for the day. As the “doctors”, the children able to take vitals on the patient and see an x-ray of him. They bandaged his wounds …

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Centered Around what Matters Most – YOU

Over the last several months St. Francis Reflections has opened our second inpatient care center and provided sneak peeks of another in Brevard County. Our very first care center was built on gifted land from Edward M. Poe, who knew how important an inpatient care center would be to his hometown of Titusville. In 2015, …

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A Gift of Service – A Life of Honor

Sonata Viera Assisted Living Facility honored their Veterans with the help of St. Francis Reflection’s Christine Tate, the Veterans Coordinator. She was joined by Rolling Thunder Florida Chapter 1 who raised the POW/MIA flag, and the colors presentation was provided by Viera High School JROTC Color Guard. The Star-Spangled Banner, and later God Bless America …

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E is for Empathy

There are three Es in the history of St. Francis Reflections that spells Empathy. It began in 1977 when Emilie Sasko saw that her neighbors in end of life where walking that road alone. As an RN with great Empathy she stepped forward when most of the country was not doing anything like this in …

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Heart of Hospice

The 2022 Heart of Hospice Awards were held at the USSSA Space Coast Complex with staff members and family on hand to celebrate 10 very special honorees. The honorees are selected because they go above and beyond their jobs uplifting patients and others in our community. They live out our mission of uplifting lives, uplifting …

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