The Hospice Residence is a beautiful building, with gardens lovingly tended to by volunteers, and a warm and welcoming team waiting to greet anyone who enters. However, for patients and families moving in for the first time, it can be a stressful and tiring first day.
Once patients are comfortably settled, they will often have a bit of a rest. That’s the time we generally see their family and loved ones venture out into the residence hallways, looking for a bit of respite themselves.
Such was the case recently with Carol, the wife of a patient, who had settled her husband in for some sleep. Carol walked out into the main hallway and approached Stacey, a volunteer at the Reception area. Carol was looking a bit lost and clutching her wallet in her hand. “I understand that there’s a Tim Hortons here, and I was hoping to get a coffee,” she said. Stacey looked at Carol and saw that there was a bit of a misunderstanding. “Honey, you don’t need your wallet,” said Stacey.
Stacy then guided Carol over to our Hospice Tim Hortons station in the dining room. “Everything here is provided at no cost,” explained Stacey. “We have coffee, pastries, and tea. As well as soup and chili prepared every day…and it’s here for you whenever you need it.”
Carol gazed around at the array of coffee and other Tim’s goodies, “This is all here for patients and families…every day…for free?”
Stacey smiled at Carol and confirmed, “yes, it is.”
In response, Carol promptly burst into tears.
Of course, the immediate reaction of the volunteers was to offer a safe-distanced Hospice “hug.” They knew she was a little overwhelmed and they wanted to make sure Carol knew that they, and the entire Hospice team, were with her on this journey. It seems sometimes it’s difficult to process kindness freely given.
Carol then took a breath, poured herself a coffee, thanked her new friends, and headed back to her husband’s side - a little calmer, and happily settling into the care and routine of our Hospice.
The small oasis of our Tim Hortons station is on-site thanks to the endless generosity of Vince and Dianne Cardella, local Tim Hortons franchise owners. Every day they provide trays of pastries, coffee, tea, soup and chili, along with all the equipment to run a true mini-Tim’s. We are able to provide all of this at no cost to our residents, their caregivers, families, and visitors, and we are all beyond grateful for the support of the Cardella family.
*Names have been changed for privacy considerations