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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Gift

by Goldie

I was given a remarkable gift.  I cannot put it on the mantel, wear it, or hold it in my hand.  The only place for this gift is in my heart, and it is tucked in there and can never be taken away.  Actually, it was 2 gifts wrapped in one.

For years I (we) have bought new teddy bears and donated them to Hospice Care.  I make it a personal mission to collect as many as I can.  They are called Dori bears, named after the women who started the tradition.  Every patient who enters, and any child that comes to visit, gets a bear.  The bears must be at least 10 inches and have the tags on them.  Build-A-Bear is my favorite and they know me by name in the store.

I knew the story of the Dori bears because my fabulous neighbor Susan is a Hospice nurse.  I collect them and then donate them thru Susan.  She takes them to Hospice and from there they go to the patients and families.  We have often talked of her taking me to the hospice center to tour it, but to date, we just haven't coordinated a time.

Not so long ago, my dear friend was sitting at Hospice with her dad and she called me.  Would I come be with her?  Of course I would, so I grabbed the big bag of my current stock of bears, hopped in the car (got lost of course), but found my way to the Hospice Center.  When I got out of the care, she commented, "I didn't know you were moving in."  She has a wicked sense of humor.

I stopped at the desk and gave my donation to a nurse who was so gracious and acted like I had given them my last dollar.  From there I took a deep breath and walked into the room with my friend.  What did I see?  Dad with his arms around a bear.  I also saw a beautiful facility that amazed me, and the tenderness and kindness of the staff.  What a fabulous place.  What I thought would be a sterile environment is a place I hope to be, if ever I need it.

But that was the second gift.  The first was when my friend called and asked me to come.  She asked me to share in one of the most personal and emotional times of her life.  I saw the love she had for her father and the unselfish wish she had for him t go on to be with her Mom and brother.  She talked to him, stroked his arm, hugged him, and even sang a little.  We talked, cried, and joked, or sat in silence.  We cracked open a couple of beers and toasted to him.

The following day, her Dad went to dance with her Mom again.  I was part of that emotional experience, and it brought a lot of memories of my own Dad passing ~ but I wouldn't have traded one second of the time or experience with her.

A few years ago, this same friend gave me a necklace.  It says, "girlfriends are the family we choose for ourselves."  I am so grateful she chose me to be her family.

31 comments:

Tina~in_ut said...

Good moaning~

Tina~in_ut said...

Goldie~ what a beautiful story you've written and what a tribute! Blogs don't usually make me cry, but you've done it honey~

iteach said...

I'm crying too, very beautiful!

Lynn D said...

Morning Glories!

Goldie that was beautiful. Thank you for sharing that with us.

whabbear said...

Goldie, I can only, er, pray, that I have friends like you around when the time comes for me to lose my own parents. You are a treasure!

whabbear said...

Good morning, Tina, Jennifer, and Lynn D!

Zona said...

GOLDIE: I've read this three times now..the wonderful story of the Dori bears..the heartfelt recollection of you sitting with your friend as she stayed by her father's side..and each time I get tears in my eyes when I read '..her dad went to dance with her mom again..' Words often escape me at times like this..but the feelings will stay with me a long, long time. Beautiful blog GOLDIE..thank you.

Bebbi said...

Goldie: Crying here too..how beautiful! :)

Good morning iteach, Tina, LynnD, Whabby and Zona!

goldie said...

Good Morning Hooters!

Thanks for the kind words.

I forgot to mention that the beer we toasted with was 'Spotted Cow'. In case anyone hadn't figured out my friend in this story, that should be the mother of all clues! lol

Hotter then blue heck here today~ hoping for another brown out like we had yesterday at the office. I figure OSHA wouldn't want me to sit in the dark with no air con so I went home. Guess it came back on in an hour but I was looooooooong gone by then! :)
O

Tinka said...

10

Tinka said...

Goldie - That was the most touching blog I have ever read. I am trying to clear my eyes so I can type. I can only echo all the sentiments of the owls who wrote before me. You are indeed a fantastic friend. I have been wondering who would want my bears when I am gone. I don't think my husband or kids will want many of them. I will put in my will that all the new ones (and there are a lot of them) will go to Hospice. Thank you Goldie..

Tinka said...

Yesterday I was so tired from my busy weekend I managed to sign in # 10 and that's as far as I got. Today the cleaning lady is here and I am feeling much better.
The day is warm and sunny. Summer has arrived in Victoria finally. It's more than a month late. My plants are usually blooming on the deck and they are just beginning to grow.

Tinka said...

from area 51

Just_Lin - My thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time. (((hugs)))

Bebbi - I loved the dog video yesterday. Tia was on my lap and I woke her up to watch it. She opened one eye and closed it again. I thought she would love the talking dog but unless a dog barks she and Tango never pay any attention to the tv. My son-in-law's mother insists her dog has his favourite shows and actually sits and watches them. I have never had a dog that did that. Do any of you know dogs like that?

Tinka said...

I must check out my farms. I think everything must have withered because they didn't get any care yesterday. Have a great day everyone.

Jodi said...

GOLDIE - ♥ ♥ ♥ You have truly touched my heart!!

Just an update on the Dori Bears. Come to find out, that program is in memory of my hubby's Aunt Judy's Mom. I have Dad's Dori Bear and will cherish it forever ♥

I also wanted to let you know I FINALLY got the thank you's out in the mail yesterday. My friends and family are amazing!! At last count we were able to donate over $2,200 dollars to Hospicecare, Inc. in memory of my Dad. So THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!

Jodi said...

TINA - Hey gorgeous!!

Waving a wing at ITEACH, LYNN, WHABBY, ZONA, BEBBI & TINKA!!

Shirley(NCC-1701) said...

Goldie you are truly a beautiful person! Fantastic blog!!

Shirley(NCC-1701) said...

Afternoon Owls!!

Just_Lin said...

In tears, here.

Bebbi said...

Tink: I am so glad you liked it. I guess Tia thought it was pretty boring that a dog was doing all that talking and moaning, must have sounded like another human to her ears...he he ;)

Goldie: I figured it out! I tell ya, I wasn't born yesterday, no sireee Bob! :) Spotted Cow would have been a good clue for the more clueless people though. hehe.. :)


And, not putting anyone down if you didn't get it, I have been pretty clueless at times. I do like to gloat a little when I'm not though, it's such a rare occurance! :)

Hi Shirley! Hi J/L! Hi Jodi!

goldie said...

I'm glad you guys liked the blog today. I meant a lot to me.

How ironic is this? Today, after this blog posted, I received a card from Jodi, the HospiceCare 2010 annual report and a thank you from a different donation that we had made to Hospice.

But the best part is that I made Whabby pray!!!

goldie said...

**IT** meant alot to me. Geez,I need to proof my posts. I need to proof my blogs too I see. :)

Tina~in_ut said...

Goldie~ I'm glad you mean a lot to you....u doo to me, 2~ :D

AND OMG!!!! I was afraid to say anything about Whabby praying.....I'm so happy about that, I could just pee my pants~ :)~

Michael said...

Oh don't get ur dress over ur head Tina! Heavens sake..."pray" = "hope"...

very nice though Goldie...very moving...


glares at Shirley...

Michael said...

and I got a Chanel bottle you can pee in please....

Tina~in_ut said...

oh excuse me, ur hineyness~ I seem to remember YOU axeing me to pray for various family members and friends~ mmm-mmm-mmm~

sacBarb said...

Goldie, Tears here too. that was beautiful. Jodi is very lucky to have you there for her. My husband put on an annual golf tournament and BBQ benefit for Sac Hospice for six years before he died and the year he died his friends put it on in his memory and raised $30,000. I am going to check with them about the bears. I think it is a wonderful idea.

Just_Lin said...

Goldie It really was a beautiful blog and beautifully written. It went straight to the heart of the matter.

Just_Lin said...

Michael Congrats on getting 25, although you didn't seem to notice. Too busy trying to get someone to pee for you, I assume.

Just_Lin said...

Waving at all my fine feathered friends. I got my nails done today and did a little exercising at Curves. My son will be returning with the grandkids and it will be a late dinner. It will probably end up being canned soup and crackers.

Shirley(NCC-1701) said...

**gives Michael the evil eye with left eyebrow raised**