Till the end

Sherry Zeise

This month’s

Speaker and host; photo by Nancy Thomas

Speaker and host; photo by Nancy Thomas 

met at the delightful home of Carl and Ruth Klein. As always dear Ruthie warmly welcomed us, sharing with us her marvelous talent of quilting and embroidery. Each room and table had an intriguing piece of sewing or quilting on which to feast our eyes. We were impressed and pleased to hear that several of our ladies were prize winners in the quilting competition at this year’s North Texas State Fair and Rodeo.

How delightful to enjoy such good food and fun fellowship with our friends from church as well as our special friends who join us when they can. Brisket and hot dishes paired well with various salads, and then cakes, pie, cookies and candy finished our meal handsomely.

Our program, presented by Karen Wesselmann, shared the testimony of her life and her coming to accept Christ and His directing her to work in hospice care. Karen became a concert musician but was directed to study medicine, training to be an RN. After a while as an RN she found a place in hospice that fit her and gave her true satisfaction knowing she made a difference for patients and their families facing the end of life.

Though hospice is a sensitive subject, Karen presented it well, clarifying uncertainties and providing us a better understanding of the practice and its benefits. She explained the difference between medical and hospice philosophy. In the medical field the whole effort is to prolong life by every means possible, never giving up on finding a way to keep the loved one alive. In hospice the focus is to accept that the person has suffered long enough, and at the person’s decision, not that of the family or friends, treatment ceases and the team works to allow the patient to be free of pain, having time to face the end of life with family and friends.

Hospice is covered by Medicare and insurance, whether in one’s home, an assisted living facility or in a hospital where the medical team yields to the hospice team which takes over complete care of the patient allowing the person more attention and care until death. Karen told us to check out private care homes when assisted living is no longer adequate. Hospice can come into a variety of settings including nursing homes, private care homes and hospitals.

She described the team which serves a person: a physician medical director, RN case manager, home health aide, social worker, chaplain, music therapist and volunteers. The team comes throughout the week as scheduled to take care of every area of the person’s life and to help the family deal with the impending loss of the loved one.

We heard three stories illustrating various ways Karen cared for Hospice patients allowing us a broader understanding of how Hospice serves a person until the time of death and also gives the family comfort and coping skills, sometimes up to one and a half years after the loved one’s loss.

What a blessing to get to know the wonderful talent and great experience of those God has brought to Robson Ranch and to our fellowship at New Life Church!