I am Sandy Hamilton and am grateful and humbled to share some background information and insight as to why I readily agreed to share my family’s Hospice of the Panhandle story. My family’s story is the subject of a commercial currently airing on local TV and radio stations.
I never doubted the value of Hospice of the Panhandle in our community. However, it wasn’t until I personally had a need that I truly understood that value and the life-changing impact on my life, and especially my parents’ lives. I am the oldest of three sisters who grew up in south Berkeley County, West Virginia. My parents met in the 1950s, married and started a family. We are a close family. My mother was very healthy most of her life, until cancer disrupted her life and subsequently, the lives of our family, especially my dad.
My mom was a fighter and married for more than 50 years to my father. She had no intention of allowing cancer to be the victor. She fought and won, temporarily. When the cancer returned, it returned with a vengeance! I was traveling south on vacation when I received a phone call from my father. He called me to communicate the conversation from mom’s oncologist visit that day. He said, “Sandy, the doctor said there is nothing else he can do and suggests that we contact Hospice.”
My dad was hesitant, because he felt mom would view that as being a death sentence, and she would give up the fight and will to live. He said, “She will think she is dying.”
I replied, “Dad, we are all dying, but Hospice can help us all enjoy our time with mom more, whatever God deems that time to be.” He agreed to make the call that supported us all, not only during mom’s last earthly days, but in the days that followed, as well.