House of Love

House of Love Can you imagine what life and death were like before there was hospice? Hospice came from England to America in the 1970s. In 1983, Wings of Hope Hospice was formed in Allegan County. Ever since, Wings has been in the non-profit business of recruiting, training and organizing people to serve the dying […]

A Torch of Honor

A Torch of Honor I recently read Gallup research published in the Washington Post indicating that only 13 percent of people worldwide actually like going to work. I consider myself among that fortunate 13 percent. In some measure, my job satisfaction is due to what I do and who I work with.  A large part […]

The Wonder of Music in Wings of Hope Hospice Care

The Wonder of Music in Wings of Hope Hospice Care Hospice patients, their loved ones and the staff that work with them often recognize a need for paths of communication and comfort care that go beyond the spoken word, the pharmaceutical and even the intellectual. Music may address some issues that become evident for hospice […]

A Sapper Receives Military Honors

  As Spiritual Care Coordinator at Wings of Hope Hospice, I often lead “We Honor Vets” pinning ceremonies to honor military veterans at long-term care facilities. Along with patriotic music, readings and the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag, we present a framed certificate of honor and a pin to each resident veteran. A D-DAY […]

60th Wedding Anniversary in a Nursing Home

I amble down the hall at the Sunset Manor,* trying to make eye contact with the wheelchair bound residents lining the walls. Some return my smile. I make my way into the room of our Wings of Hope Hospice patient. Marty* is a white haired gentleman with wire rim glasses. He is a little slouched […]

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A Homeless Man Comes Home for Christmas

This is how our Wings Home provided a place for reunion between a homeless man and his family during their last Christmas together.  He had called from a hospital in Ohio having been told he would soon die.  His sister from Allegan went with her husband to pick him up in their own vehicle, not […]

Loveliness Enhanced by Debilitating Disease

Loveliness Enhanced by Debilitating Disease

The photos near her bed at the skilled nursing facility show her as robust. She was lean with sinewy muscles during her first fifty-five years. Her character was firm, too. The honor and integrity of her family yielded the attractiveness of a trustworthy individual. Her long dark mane of hair framed eyes alive with love […]

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Love On A King Size Bed

A family gathers The yard was packed with cars as I pulled into the driveway. A few grand-kids were gathered in a circle out in the yard having a smoke, perhaps relieving the stress of the moment. A loved one lay dying inside. When a family experiences this kind of grief, they come up against […]