A 40-year reunion brings family together

Beavercreek News Current

BEAVERCREEK — It’s been decades since Crossroads Hospice patient and Beavercreek resident Jeanne Andrews has gotten all of her kids in one room. With jobs and families of their own and living as far away as Texas and Delaware, Andrews’ children haven’t been able to coordinate a family reunion with their mother in more than 40 years.

When the 85-year-old was given the chance to plan the perfect afternoon through Crossroads Gift of a Day program, she had one simple wish. She longed to spend the day with her kids over bowls of peach ice cream.

With the help of one of Andrews’ daughters, who works in her nursing home, Crossroads staff got in touch with her other children and six of them were able to come together and celebrate their mother’s birthday. They told family stories and reminisced for hours, making the most of the long-awaited reunion.

“They sat at a round table in our conference room and acted like they were back in their old kitchen,” said Doree McBride, volunteer manager for Crossroads in Dayton. “They stayed for hours, sharing stories and laughing. Andrews had the biggest smile on her face.”

Created by Crossroads Hospice, the Gift of a Day program asks patients what their perfect day is and staff and volunteers work to make it a reality. The process begins as soon as a patient begins receiving hospice services.

Pictured: Crossroads Hospice patient Jeanne Andrews surrounded by her children for the first time in more than 40 years.

“The Gift of a Day program brings out the best in the community, with Crossroads staff, volunteers, and area businesses coming together to create special moments for these seriously ill patients,” said Peggy Richardson, Executive Director of Crossroads Hospice’s Dayton office. “The requests are as varied as the patients we serve, challenging us to find creative ways to bring about a perfect day. The Gifts have brought smiles, tears, laughter, and joy to countless terminally ill patients and their families.”

The Gift of a Day program was inspired by Jim Stovall’s novel, The Ultimate Gift. Blind from age 29 due to a degenerative eye condition, Stovall went on to become an International Humanitarian of the Year, a national Olympic weightlifting champion, Emmy-award winner, world-renowned author, and speaker.

To read more about Gift of a Day experiences visit www.crossroadshospice.com. For more information about Crossroads Hospice call 937-312-3170.

Crossroads Hospice is committed to being at the forefront of the hospice care industry, to continually shape the way end-of-life care is viewed and administered. The mission of Crossroads Hospice is to provide highly unique, comprehensive, and compassionate hospice services to persons experiencing a life-limiting illness and to their caregivers.