I so loved and appreciated my work with HopeWest, the hospice organization in Colorado, and simply assumed I'd capture that same magic here in the frozen tundra. After more than a year of volunteering with the local hospice--at the front desk, visiting patients, and facilitating grief groups--I decided to "resign", if that's what you call giving up a non-paid gig. I've been struggling with the decision for a few weeks now, and now that it's made, it feels bittersweet. I so love the mission of hospice, and never want to bring any frustration to my work there. I found that I was failing in that regard.
Luckily, I will continue to see one patient on a personal basis; she's a sweet woman originally from Mexico. I love hanging out with her, chatting in Spanish, hearing how several decades ago this man swept her off her feet in her hometown in Durango state, married her, then promptly moved her to Fairbanks! Through her I've met other Latinos in the community--she has friends from El Salvador, Honduras, Columbia, all of them providing music to my ears and the opportunity to practice my espanol.
Today, we are pitching in to throw her a surprise birthday party--her 99th! I've prepared chicken mole for the occasion. Here's to a successful recipe, a happy birthday, and to finding new direction in my own life.