After a moment of silence to digest the previous story, a petite woman from the opposite side of the church started to speak. She had a thick Latin American accent. She was well dressed and had enormous cat-like eyes with fine wrinkles around the outside corners and short, stylish brown hair. I bet she was every bit of 65 and she was absolutely beautiful in both her appearance and her spirit. She told a story of a coworker that was clearly a special and giving individual. That coworker was an ER worker who spent 30 years of her life managing a suburban emergency room. The funny thing about this story is that it included a little twist. That twist was that this ER manager’s husband fired the Harbor Bay hospice in the final days. Sometimes the power of fate works more powerfully than our systems expect.
I could not have been more touched as this Latin American “cat woman” told her story while she choked back a few tears and relayed what was truly an example of destiny winning out over fate. I think it is every person’s dying wish to die in a place that feels comfortable: a place that feels like home. I know that has been my experience with the few loved ones I have said goodbye to. The real question is “where is the true spirit of home?” For some of us it is where we live. For some of us it is where we socialize. For this spirit it was clearly where she worked.
As this ER manager was approaching her final days, her husband decided that hospice was no longer serving her needs. I have no idea why he made this decision. I knew neither of them any more than I know any stranger in my life. Perhaps he had no idea either. Perhaps it was destiny? In the end, as a result of firing hospice, his wife ended up back in the emergency room. The exact same emergency room she had spent the last 30 years of her life, surrounded by her friends, her coworkers, her doctors, and her patients. Is there any more perfect sense or definition of home than the place where you are most appreciated and most loved? I think not. As the saying goes, home is where the heart is. I am certain that this special and giving spirit came to rest in peace at the place where her heart truly resided: her home, so to speak.
Fate is what life brings you… destiny is what you make of it.