It was two days before Thanksgiving and I stopped in to see a patient that I hadn’t met.  I no sooner made my usual introduction – “Hi, my name is Bill and I’m a pastoral care volunteer” – then he said, “I’m not leaving until after Thanksgiving.”  

I was about to express my sympathy when he said, “That's wonderful; I got my wish.  I won’t have to be alone for Thanksgiving.  I don’t have to leave until next Monday.”

In the midst of facing a terminal illness, this wonderful soul found a place of thankfulness.  Hospice became for him a welcoming home during a holiday that most people would dread spending away from their loved ones.

I’ve thought about this exchange many times over the past few days.   I am humbled by how he accepted life as it is and found in it – what would be bitter disappointment to others – a welcome gift. 


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