Last year I experienced one of the great, unexpected joys of grand-motherhood. One lunchtime I introduced my then 18-month old grandson to my meatballs.
When I became a hospice volunteer, I imagined – considering my background as a reporter and writer – that I might be able to help people who wanted to write or record their life stories.
I thought it would help people make sense of the joys and struggles in their lives. Or it would help them leave their stories as a gift for family and friends – particularly for younger generations – so that they would be known and remembered.
Over the past year, several people I know have been diagnosed with serious illnesses. They’ve undergone equally serious treatments including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. For them and for their loved ones, it was a time for “all hands on deck.”
However, I believe that a number of hands were missing.
Shortly after my then-85-year-old mother was diagnosed with a brain tumor, my brother and I accompanied her to meetings with several specialists. We were trying to determine what, if any, treatment would make the most sense for her.