Three Generations Walk to Celebrate Life
CATEGORY: News and Community; Grief and Loss; Philanthropy; Testimonials
Our Story | Frank and Marie Alder - written by their daughters Mary & Regina
Hospice of the Western Reserve’s Walk to Remember has become an important and meaningful day to our family – Team Angels. This year marks Team Angels’ second annual walk in memory of Frank and Marie Alder – our beloved parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. Three generations walk in their memory.
As the story begins, our parents had a beautiful life together and celebrated 68 years of marriage. Part One of our hospice experience began in the late summer of 2017, with the failing health of our mom, Marie. Following weeks of care between the hospital and a rehabilitation center, we were faced with the inevitable. While at the hospital, a palliative care doctor suggested the Hospice of the Western Reserve. Absorbing this news and quickly researching the Hospice of the Western Reserve, we all agreed it was the best option for Marie. Arrangements were immediately made to have her transferred to the David Simpson Hospice House on September 25, 2017.
It was late in the evening, and our hearts were filled with sadness and fear of the unknown. When we arrived at the facility, our weariness was replaced with comfort and compassion. For the next 9 days, Marie was comforted and cared for with dignity and respect by skilled caregivers and volunteers. Our beautiful mom passed away surrounded by angels during the morning of October 4, 2017. We referred to Marie’s caregivers – the nurses, doctors, staff, and volunteers – as “Angels on Earth”. Their devotion and compassion were immeasurable and the care our mom received while at the David Simpson Hospice House exceeded our expectations.
The story doesn’t stop there though – Part Two. A couple weeks after Marie’s passing, our Dad, Frank, became quite ill with pneumonia and soon after was diagnosed with having lung and skin cancer complications. He too was faced with hospitalization followed by weeks at a rehabilitation center. Following discharge, Frank understood his fate and his wish was to independently live at his home. Again, the palliative care doctor referred us to Hospice of the Western Reserve; however, this time for home health care. It was the perfect scenario, as Frank received exceptional care from the hospice home team beginning in February 2018. The schedule was arranged accordingly to Frank’s health, and he grew fond of his home hospice team – the doctor, nurses, social worker, aides, volunteers – that became part of his daily life. Team Angels played a role in the daily routine as well. The next four months were steady, and Frank was in good hands.
On May 15, 2018, Frank’s health took a turn for the worse and it became apparent that staying at his home was no longer a good option. The hospice team arranged for the transfer to the David Simpson Hospice House and we were reunited. Frank had a few “good” days to reminisce with family, friends, and the hospice caregivers as we all gathered in his room with a lovely view of the courtyard and lake. Our dad peacefully passed with family by his side on the evening of May 20, 2018.
Two bricks, in loving memory of Marie and Frank Alder, align against each other along the beautiful brick pathway overlooking the lake at the David Simpson Hospice House. It’s a very special place in our hearts.
As our story began, the Hospice of the Western Reserve’s Walk to Remember is now an annual event for Team Angels. We walk not only to pay tribute and honor to our parents, but we also walk to applaud and support the Hospice of the Western Reserve – our “Angels on Earth”.