As a hospice volunteer I spend time with patients in their home or at the Kaplan Family Hospice Residence. I have wonderful memories of patients and families that I helped along the way, and as a ten year volunteer there are many. This is one that I remember and think about often.
At the Kaplan Residence, I was asked to take a patient out to the gazebo so she could have a cigarette. I had read the social worker’s comments that this young lady was very sad and not very communitive. As I lit her cigarette, I tried small talk but got no response.
On the way back to her room I hummed a tune I thought she might know; she looked at me but never said a word. The next week I was asked again to take her out, and on the way to the gazebo she asked about the song I was humming last week. I sang it for her, and this time she smiled and told me that her father sang that song to her when she was a little girl. I was happy to have been able to bring a smile to her face.
The last time I got the chance to take her out, she asked if I knew the second verse of the song. I did so I sang it to her. Her name was Linda and this was her song, the song her father used to sing to her as a little girl, and the song this hospice volunteer got to sing to her for the very last time.
“When I go to sleep
I never count sheep
I count all the charms about Linda”