This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Create the Good. All opinions are 100% mine.
End of life care.
That’s what they called it.
I’m not sure if I was in denial, missed the part where the doctor gave his prognosis or if I just was so full of hope that I didn’t realize the end was this near.
On October 10, 2016, my dad was told that his cancer was growing (again) and they removed him from the last-chance clinical trial he had been on for three months. His original diagnosis in early 2008 had given him six months, so he had defied the odds for many years. On October 11, 2016, he entered into in-home hospice to help make sure he was comfortable and didn’t have to endure any further doctor’s appointments. It seemed like a positive thing for him after spending the last 3+ months driving 90 minutes each way to the University of Chicago, sometimes twice a week for treatment.
That morning he was full of life. He was just Dad. Normal. Still sharp as ever, still a man who liked things the way he liked them and still able to do everything for himself. And still seemingly ready to enjoy the Chicago Cubs playoff season.
Eight hours later everything changed. He was breathing but labored and unresponsive and we had no idea what to do. So we called hospice. Pam from the Hospice of the Calumet Area was the nurse on call that night, and she arrived and took over. She made him comfortable, and sat with us for hours, checking on him offering compassion, and caring for him like he was her own father. She left with instructions to call if we needed her otherwise she would touch base with us in the morning. She somehow managed to instill a sense of peace on us amid the fear and sorrow.
The night was uneventful; he slept with very brief moments of responsiveness. He held on long enough, seemingly, for us all to see him that morning and then slipped away peacefully with my mom, my sister and I at his side. I have never felt so numb before. So outside of myself. So helpless. Pam arrived a little while later and somehow innately was able to provide dignity to my dad and comfort to us. She counseled us, cried with us and left us with the feeling that we had done all we could to make him comfortable as he answered God’s call to come home.
Not everyone can offer the kind of care Pam did during such a difficult time in our lives. It takes a unique person with a special gift to support people during extreme grief. And regardless of whether or not it is their job to care for people, there is a level of compassion that wasn’t necessarily expected and she went above and beyond.
People like Pam aren’t looking for recognition, and most days they probably don’t get any, but I’m excited to tell you about a way that you can recognize the caregivers like Pam in your life. Maybe you know a teacher who goes above and beyond for their students. Perhaps you know a coach who treats his team as his own children. Or maybe it’s a medical professional, nurse, first responder, firefighter, police officer or another public service figure. Or maybe it’s someone who volunteers their time to who help others. No matter who they are or what they do, this person has made a positive impact on your life and the life of others. They set an example. They create the good in this world and deserve to be recognized.
To help identify these amazing people, Create the Good has a new contest so your nominee can receive the kudos they deserve and possibly win daily prizes or a grand prize cash award to a charity of the nominees choice.
Take a look at this video to learn more:
25 Days 25 Ways to Care Contest
To nominate someone you know (you cannot nominate yourself) for the 25 Days 25 Ways to Care Contest, head over to the contest page here: 25 Days 25 Ways to Care and submit a video explaining how/why the person you are nominating exhibits extraordinary acts of care. There are daily random drawings for gift prizes (awarded to the nominee, not the submitter). One winner will be awarded a $2,500 prize donation to the charity of their choice (the nominee’s choice, not the submitter’s choice).