Our stories about meaningful experiences are written as they unfold. Therefore, most stories are in the present tense. Some of the patients in these stories are no longer with us. They, and their families, gave us permission to share their experience with you. For those who have since passed, we share these in their memories with deep appreciation for what they have taught us about life and living.
To reach 100 years is a major achievement, a milestone to honor. For the family of Rowland Moore, the milestone was bittersweet.
Mr. Moore was about to turn 100 years old as he was dying. His family was grieving what they knew was coming even as they were eager to acknowledge this milestone. They knew their patriarch would most likely not live until his birthday, which was just over a week away. His only child, daughter Cheryl Moore, decided to throw a family celebration and birthday party on June 26, 2021.
It was too important a milestone NOT to be celebrated, so they would celebrate it early.
On the special day, she brought in old, framed photos. In one, a dashing Mr. Moore is in uniform, home visiting while serving in the army during World War II. In another, he is still dashing later in life, standing next to Ruby, his beautiful wife.
They worked with our Compassionate Care Center staff to host the gathering. The family had a beautiful cake and refreshments. Our staff supplied party plates, napkins, and cups. The family also had a milestone-worthy banner made. Mr. Moore’s career was in signs, so this was fitting.
Volunteer John Scully and two care team members helped roll Mr. Rowland’s bed onto the back patio, where his family were gathered. They hung the banner over his bed, and his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and other family gathered around him. They sang happy birthday, shared cake and ice cream, and honored a century of life.
It was a gift to be able to watch this family come together in this way, intent on honoring every second of life even as they prepared for Mr. Rowland’s death. We were honored to witness and support it.
We are grateful to Mr. Rowland and his family for allowing us to share their inspiring story of making every moment count.
How can you honor life during National Hospice & Palliative Care Month? Visit the #WeHonorLife campaign page to learn about all the ways you can help, from volunteering and shopping to helping us increase access to specialized care for the seriously ill and their families. Questions? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 859-986-1500 or visit our website.