Home is Where the Heart IsBlock Number: 103
“HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS”
by Ginger Todd
Hospice of McDowell opened its doors in the basement of First Baptist Church in 1994. After many years, and with tremendous community support, the new facility at 575 Airport Road was completed and Hospice personnel moved into their new building in September 2006. At this address is where one can view the most recent McDowell Quilt Trail block, which was installed on October 21, 2011 and is number 103 on the quilt trail.
Julie Anne McKinney, representing the organization states at the installation states, “Our story is simple. It’s about YOU. It’s about you as a person. And it’s about you as a member of your community. Hospice of McDowell celebrates hosting this quilt block and becoming part of the quit trail because life always matters. The Hospice motto is: If your heart is at home, then stay. We will bring our services to you. Making a difference one life at a time, says it all.”
Each year the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization releases a new quilt design to all its members, and the Hospice of McDowell staff and volunteers chose “Home Is Where the Heart Is” as their quilt block display. The staff members wanted to raise their own funds to participate in the quilt trail, and after a volunteer benefactor started them off with a generous donation, they claim “We ate ourselves to the goal,” through a late afternoon intra-office bake sale of assorted goodies made by staff members. All proceeds went toward the purchase of the quilt block. The staff at Hospice feels the block is a worthwhile addition to the building, and is a benefit to the community, which helped build this facility.
Hospice serves as a valuable community resource of skilled, compassionate, physical, emotional, and spiritual care to both patient and family to enhance the quality of life and death. The philosophy of Hospice is to create care in helping people live with dignity, comfort and compassion at the end of life in the course of serious illness. Support services include RN, CNA, Family Resource Specialists, Chaplain and volunteers.
In 1978 President Jimmy Carter made the first White House Proclamation naming the month of November as National Hospice Month. Each November the essential role of Hospice in end-of-life care is promoted to further public awareness of the services offered. The proclamation reads in part: “All Americans should take comfort in the important work of Hospice care, which enables individuals to carry on their lives, in spite of a terminal illness. During this month, let us recognize those who allow the terminally ill to receive comfortable and dignified care.” Hospice not only helps meet the patient’s needs and wishes, it supports the patient’s loved ones, as well.
The national symbol, also recognized by many worldwide Hospice societies, is the butterfly. The butterfly represents the different stages of life, the ultimate symbol of change, transformation and beauty; the transition between life and death shown by the caterpillar forming its cocoon and preparing to leave life as it is known, to become a lovely butterfly. This symbol is believed to have originally come from drawings and carvings on concentration camp walls. Many organizations have programs where they release live butterflies in memory of a loved one, and as a unique way to honor and remember them.
“Home is Where the Heart Is,” a 4 X 4-foot block is located in the peak of the front entrance wall of the Hospice building. The block is quite detailed and colorful, edged in black with each of the four corners blocked in forest green, an image of a tree within. The yellow background contains representations of budding flowers, heart, and home, with songbirds, leaves and butterflies on opposite sides. Enclosed within a square of alternating red and purple, is a sunburst in shades of gold and yellow with a rendition of the recognizable national symbol of the butterfly at its center. It is detailed in an offset background of blue, deep maroon, and green. This block represents the dedication to McDowell County and the services offered by Hospice.