(from left to right: Kylar Aurand, Kristy Aurand and Adam Aurand)
I was a Hospice volunteer back in the early 2000s during college. I served as a front desk volunteer and enjoyed participating in preparing and serving the holiday meals. As I transitioned out of college into the workforce, my schedule no longer allowed me time to volunteer, so I backed away, hoping to one day return. Then my mom died at the Hospice Inpatient Center in January of 2014. As Christmas approached that year, I was hit hard with grief and was thinking about all the individuals having to spend Christmas with their family members in the Inpatient Center that year – as we had done the year before. So, my husband, my daughter and I started a tradition of delivering cookies to the Inpatient Center each Christmas Eve Day. I included a hand-written note to let folks know the small gesture was in honor of my mom – Judy Reel – and that we wished them peace in the season. The second year, I posted on social media about our tradition, and a friend from elementary school messaged me and said, “Thanks so much for the cookies. My uncle is in the Center and we really appreciated this.” Small world. As a 2018 New Year’s resolution, I decided to make it my goal to once again train to be a Hospice volunteer. I initially thought about the Inpatient Center, but with a young family and a full-time job, I decided on the nursing home setting, as it is a more flexible schedule. I look forward to making a difference and honoring my mom’s legacy through my work.
By: Kristy Aurand