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Janice Ervin specializes in grief, the spiritual connection and as a Hospice & Vigil Service volunteer, she has been touched by many beautiful souls as their earthly journeys came to an end.
She shared one of many stories, “One sweet patient taught me a heightened sensitivity for the plight of those who have lost their independence, with no hope of it returning throughout the remainder of their lifetime. Mable was in an elderly care facility, and had lost the use of her hands because of a stroke. She was never again able to dress herself, or leave her bed to visit the restroom without asking for aid, or take a shower when she wanted. Can you imagine waking in the morning and suddenly not being able to get up, use the rest room, dress or eat until someone arrived to assist you? What if you wake early? What if you are hungry or thirsty in the middle of the night? I asked HOC what her favorite food was, and they told me she loved coffee ice cream. So the first time I visited, I surprised her with a quart. When I sat to help her eat, she begged me to let her feed herself. She only had on a pajama top which ended high on her thighs. As she struggled to eat, the ice cream melted and ran down her bare legs. It was a messy ordeal, but she loved every second of it. More ice cream found its way on the chair and her body than in her mouth, but for the first time in ages, she felt as if she exerted control over her life. I pondered the situation on my way home that night. The next time I visited, I stopped at 7-11, purchased a cup with an extra long, large straw, and some milk. I carted my blender into her room, made her a coffee shake, sat it in her lap, and wrapped her sweet hands around the cup. She was absolutely delighted. She was able to hold the cup, and enjoy the shake while we chatted and watched tv for hours.”
Anyone who spends anytime genuinely volunteering understands the intangible and heart filling rewards that come from reaching out to others in need. Janice’s story is such a testimony to this!
Have you researched the organizations where you can volunteer in your community? It is a worthwhile endeavor to invest your precious time! Leave a comment describing to me what makes your spirit soar! I love inspirational stories.