Recently, when another volunteer discovered that I live a 30 – minute drive away from the Langley Hospice store, she commented to me that “there must be something closer to your home that you could volunteer at instead of the Hospice”.

So, why am I here?

Three years ago, my sister-in-law’s Mom, Isabel, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. After several weeks of home care in my brother and sister-in-law’s home, Isabel was moved to the hospice care facility in Chilliwack. When I went to visit her, I was so impressed, the facility was beautiful! It looked like Barb and Gerri had put their own personal decorating touch on each room. The great room with its kitchen/dining and sitting area was amazing! How could a person feel so comfortable in a place where so many had come to spend their last days on earth. The care givers were unbelievable. I don’t know how they do it, day after day. Patient after patient. And, now, when I hear Pat (from our linen area) comment on a happening from her shift at the Langley Hospice Residence, I have only admiration for her.

Isabel’s beautiful room at the Chilliwack Hospice was spectacular with French doors out to its’ own patio area – an opportunity to let the sunshine in on Isabel’s last days. Every patient had their own room with a sofa bed and chairs for any family or friend that chose to stay the night. It was April 11, 2009 when we said our final goodbyes to dear Isabel.

A year and a day later, on April 12, 2010 Isabel’s daughter Christine (my beautiful sister-in-law) entered the same facility. Now, Christine was suffering from the same cancer that had killed her mother. A feeling of serene peace comes over one when they come to the Chilliwack Hospice – it has a tranquil, and calm feeling where only the warmest of heart can be caregivers for they know the last days must be the most comfortable for both patients and family. So there, in the wonderful care of the hospice, our Christine, at only 51 years of age, said her good byes to all of us.

So why am I here?

Well, I know the Hospice care facility was the one in Chilliwack, and the one we support is here in Langley. No matter where the location, the service which our community Hospice provides to families, at such a vulnerable time, is priceless. And, I feel the need to give back! Why?? So other families can continue to experience the wonderful hospice care that both Isabel and Christine were given.

So why am I here?

Oh, that is easy! I am here in memory of our beautiful Christine and her last days on earth! Until we meet again Christine, I do this in your memory.

With my love forever,

Judy Bifford

Second Story Treasures Thrift Store Volunteer