I Don’t Want to Live
Without You, Mommy
I doubt there is a stronger bond on this earth than that between a mother and her
I met Kathy and her kids a few days ago and observed that in action. Now I am able
to tell you, a friend of Heart House Hospice
, very difficult yet heartwarming
and caring story
Kathy is a young single mom with three beautiful children, Baylee 13, Chelsee 9
and Avrey 7.
Sometime ago, after experiencing frequent seizures in her right arm and a myriad
of tests and consultations, Kathy was told by her neurosurgeon that there was a
tumor growing in her brain.
It wasn’t the good kind. Her honest response: “I don’t’ get it, I’m only in my thirties!”
Since hearing the diagnosis that none of us would want to hear, Kathy has gained
a medical education and been on an emotional roller coaster. Chemo regimes have
been frequently changed. Pills…radiation…blood tests…MRI’s… all make up Kathy’s
day-to-day brave life.
“My kids are the reason I still have that light in my eyes. When I look at them
I feel all my dreams have come true. I told them I am not going to be around to
see them live their lives as I have an illness that will eventually take my life.
It’s been hard but I have had to train them to know what to do if they come into
my room and I am cold to their touch. Sometimes our conversations are open, sometimes
painfully angry, but I tell them that this is our reality.”
Picture yourself doing the following all alone; facing eviction by a landlord because
they didn’t want you to die in their house; facing this tough recession as a single
mom and now unable to work. And picture facing your end-of-life journey with courage
while getting the kids off to school, rushing to the hospital for radiation, and
getting back to finish the laundry.
That’s exactly where you, with your generosity, and the professionally trained
staff and volunteers of Heart House have made a difference. I asked Kathy
what her thoughts were about the special kind of caring she gets from the Hospice
people. For the only time in our long conversation she wept. “I love Hospice. Jane
Latham (staff member) is a real part of my reality. Things I did not know I could
get she makes happen! Because I can’t drive anymore Florence (volunteer) gets me
to the Food Bank or grocery store or even just takes me out for coffee.
Because of your generosity and the support from Heart House Hospice here are just
some of the companioning activities we have done to help make a difference for Kathy
and her children:
A horrendous 2 1/2 hour public transportation trip just to get to the Hospital was
replaced with a service found that provides taxis.
Kathy’s children are getting into summer programs
A professional photographer (Donna Santos) gave her services to us and photographed
Kathy’s family in a park where fun times from the past were remembered and a legacy
of photos were given to the family. “Those pictures remind me of the treasure that
my children are. They look back at me from those photos and all I see is beauty.
In fact I want to be buried with those pictures!”
This is just one story of over 1,200 clients this year we touched under the heading
“a special kind of caring.”
We all do this work together. Currently, the highly trained staff
and volunteers provide 1,200 clients like Kathy this “no charge support” because
you also have a big heart. Now to do all this we urgently need from
donors like you, $10,000 this month.
In honour of Kathy’s courage could it be that you would give $500
In honour of these beautiful children and their future could it be that you
would give $250?
In honour of Jane and Florence’s comfort and professional support could it
be that you would give $100?
In honour of the big hearts of the hundreds of volunteers out there
every week seeking to make a meaningful difference to someone’s end of life experience
would you give $50?
“My children have said: ‘I don’t want you to die, Mommy. I don’t want to live without
you. It’s not fair, Mom.’ I tell them this is our new reality. The future is too
overwhelming…we just have to think…what’s next. And that’s where Jane and Hospice
have become a real part of our reality.”
It’s not everyone who would give financially to this. Yes, there are many needs
while life is to be lived. We get all that. However we need you to give generously
for those facing their end-of-live journey right now, right here in our community.
We urgently need $10,000 for three specific programs…the Family At Home Campaign
that Kathy and her family benefit from…the Children’s Future Smiles Campaign and
our Transportation Package. If every one gave something, we could do it!
At the end of our conversation yesterday Kathy mentioned that in several days she
and Jane were going to the Funeral Director to plan her funeral ceremony. Included
will be posters made of the family pictures we took for her. This slight, beautiful
woman then excitedly jumped up and gave me a poem hanging on the wall that she wanted
on her cremation plaque. I will quote one stanza for you.
If you could see me now
I’m walking streets of
If you could see me now
I’m standing tall and
In honour of this wonderful family and the staff and volunteers who love them, would
you right now write the cheque, print out your Visa number or go to www.hearthousehospice.com and click on Donate Now to invest
in this compassionate caring. Please give now!
Director of Resource Development,
Heart House Hospice
P.S. Please send the enclosed envelope today. Yesterday is too late. Tomorrow is
too late. It’s today that we make a meaningful difference in the lives of those
living with terminal illness and the people who love them.
If you would like to make a donation, click on "Donate Now".