A Most Beautiful Thing

1.23.2010 | Motivation, Sponsors, Uncategorized

Today is the long-awaited opening of the Centre for Supportive Care and Hospice Residence. Last night, volunteers were invited to have a look inside before it officially opens to the public. I knew this was going to be a beautiful facility, but I was still unprepared for what I saw…

I toured the Hospice Residence last night, and I am not ashamed to say that as soon as I walked through the front doors, the tears began to well in my eyes. The Residence is a simply designed, natural, welcoming space, obviously created with the residents and their families in mind. There is a beautiful kitchen connected to an intimate dining area, comfortable home-like seating areas, quiet hallways free of clutter, a childrens’ room stuffed with toys and books, a lovely spa room (with an all-important towel-warmer!), and a family room with a comfortable bed should family members wish to stay the night.

All beautiful, all welcoming, all perfectly personal and serene.

But it was the ten private suites that stole my heart. As I write this now, I have tears in my eyes as I think of how much thought and honesty went into these suites. They are made as much for the living as for the dying. I could tell you about the incredible lift system in each room, that comfortably and safely brings the resident to the private en-suite. I could tell you about the tasteful, simple furnishings that adorn each room. The small fridge, the variety of different lights and settings, the understated and non-institutional bedding of soft blankets and gentle sheets…

I can tell you about the reclining chairs that have been placed beside each of the ten beds. At a time when they are caring only of the comfort of their loved ones, family members have someone to think of theirs.

But the thing that really struck me, the thing that made everything fall into place was this: off each of the rooms is a small, private, covered balcony surrounded by immaculate, understated gardens and trees… and the doors to these balconies open wide enough to allow a resident’s bed to be gently moved outside. It was at this moment of my tour that I started crying and simply could not stop. The idea that someone thought so far as to ensure that even the most ill of residents, those who may be too weak to move, those who are living the final days of their life, could go outside and feel the sun, hear the birds in the trees, take a breath of fresh air, was more than my heart could bear. To me, that wide door was selflessness personified.

This coming week, the public has an opportunity to tour the Centre for Supportive Care and Hospice Residence – I think you should go. All of you.

20 years ago, Nancy Macey had an idea to start a simple phone line where people who needed help or education regarding end-of-life care could call and get connected. Now there is a physical space where end-of-life-care is conducted with patience, dignity, and kindness. A place where individuals can go for support, education, and peace. A place where entire families can get the care they needed. Why? Because Nancy confidently asked the community of Delta to help raise over $7 million, and we said yes. There were donations of a million dollars, and donations of the simple, appreciated change that someone had in their pocket that day. Funds were raised by corporations, organizations, and individuals. Bottles and cans were collected, fund-raising Yoga classes were held, talented stylists donated their tips, and selfless children gave up anticipated birthday presents, choosing to ask for donations to Hospice instead.

And here, today, is the result.

This is the Hospice that our community built.




It IS an amazing space. And I agree, Nancy really, really researched and it is the details that make all of the difference. A good day for Delta indeed.