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.
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.
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.