Tuesday, January 13, 2015

True Hospitality

HOSPICE:  This word is derived from Latin "hospes" - meaning a place of hospitality. 

Today is filled with both sadness (in our grief) and joy (in our memories), as today brings the funeral services for a dear friend who taught us the meaning of hospitality.  Dorothy (not her real name), was in her room, sitting in a big, comfy chair when Magnum first laid eyes on her.  He went straight to her, said hello (laid his head in her lap) and proceeded to curl up and snuggle at her feet.  Oops! - I mean ON her feet!  I have never seen Magnum do this before - he must have thought she needed 70 lbs. of warm dog snuggled on her!  That was the beginning of a unique and wonderful friendship. 

HOSPITALITY: The friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors or strangers. 

We were all strangers to Dorothy when she first came to the hospice home.  However, Magnum and I and all the other volunteers received such a generous welcome from Dorothy.  It was as if she held court in her room, with all of us clamoring to spend time with her!  It is the mission of Hospice of Southern Illinois to "enhance quality of life" and yet that was exactly what Dorothy did for all of us.
Here's a picture of Magnum on Dorothy's couch.  He has never "asked" to get up and lay on the couch during a visit until Dorothy.  But I think he was so comfortable with her he just decided he'd like to watch us talk and take a little snooze during our visit.  Dorothy got a big kick out of this and always told him he could get up on her couch.  Again, generous hospitality.
Dorothy even made Magnum a bookworm in his likeness!

We enjoy and learn from each person we meet along life's journey.  From Dorothy we all learned generous hospitality. 

 Peace to her family and friends,

Miss Carol