OKEECHOBEE — Those of us who are privileged to care for those at end of life know that each memory we can create has a life of its own. These sweet treasures find just the right time to flood our hearts and brains to rekindle that special moment spent with a loved one. Certain times of the year trigger that flood of memories. Like Thanksgiving, when we look at a roasted turkey and suddenly laugh as the technicolor vision of grandpa loosening his belt at the table before he begins to carve the bird fills our brain and heart. Or we hear a favorite Christmas melody and can’t help but smile as we recall mother singing in the church choir all of our childhood and beyond to HER favorite carol.
Once a year Hospice of Okeechobee partners with Buxton and Bass Funeral Home to celebrate those we have lost with an evening of remembrance. This year, health safety required us to change how we remembered those special people. On Dec 3, 2020 Lanterns on the Lawn was created by lighting 400 white lanterns, each with the name of someone under the care of Hospice of Okeechobee in the last two years. Loved ones were encouraged to drive past the Hamrick Home north lawn to see the glowing lanterns that represented all those individuals with whom we share such beautiful memories. Some came to walk the lawn as beautiful music filled the air and hospice staff were there to say hello and lend support. For two hours they glowed in the dusk of sunset. We, too, have memories and fondly remember. This rekindles our spirit as we face a new year of service creating more beautiful memories.