Swimming With Dolphins
At Amedisys Hospice of Walterboro, I work with some of God’s angels. God has called us to come alongside those who apart from a miracle don’t have much time left on this earth. Our goal is to make them as comfortable as possible, provide support to their families, and help them discover God’s peace and closure. Every patient is different, every story is unique, but the goal is always the same. We aim to bring peace and hope into every home. I want to share with you about a lady whose story has touched our entire office deeply.
Just months ago a patient came on our service that was highly distressed and overwhelmed by her doctor’s shocking news. At just 51 years of age, she was informed that there was nothing more man could do and she needed to prepare to die apart from divine intervention. I remember upon admission the tears pouring from her eyes as the reality of her soon coming death confirmed itself with my presence as a hospice chaplain.
Knowing that her every tomorrow was so uncertain I quickly sought to know her spiritual state. This broken hearted young lady shared with me how she had never gone to church. Yet, there was one occasion where she did attempt to walk through church doors. At that time she was literally homeless and desperately searching for answers. She decided to visit a particular local church here in Colleton County. Unfortunately, she never made it inside to hear the message. The preacher approached her and said, “Lady, you are welcome to come back to this church, but next time make sure you wear clothes that are much nicer.” Heavy hearted she left that day not only feeling hopeless, but rejected by so called “God’s people.” I literally said, “Please introduce me to this pastor so I can personally beat him up.” I then apologized to her for his words and told her how much God loved her no matter where she had been or what she had done.
Then, came a moment I personally live for in this life. With tears rolling, but hope filling the room this lady prayed to invite Jesus into her heart. I then informed her that she would become the first honorary member of Refuge Church and I would gladly be her pastor from this moment on. Along with this life changing decision have been many other touching moments.
Just weeks after she came on hospice, she hosted a “Going Home Party”. She had dear friends and family come from great distance to bid her farewell this side of Heaven. Together they celebrated great memories and enjoyed what time she had left on planet earth. One of our nurses who has invested great amounts of time with this lady told us that this she had just one more wish before she made her eternal transition. She and her husband wanted to take their first ever vacation together and go on a cruise. This dying lady wanted to “Swim With The Dolphins.”
With the help of her loving husband, our nurse, social worker, and for sure the good Lord she and her husband went on a cruise this past week to the Bahamas. Her husband asked me just a few days before the cruise to pray two prayers. One, pray that their time of departing for their cruise came quickly. Secondly, pray that time stands still so we can enjoy every moment of everyday together.
Within our Hospice office we could not help but smile as we pondered this couple’s time together. This was literally a dream come true. It took everyone working together to do what they could and a God who can align every star and save any soul. I’m happy to report that this lady and her husband enjoyed a trip they will never forget. This lady who could barely even walk across her living room was personally escorted by the Carnival Cruise captain to swim with the dolphins.
I’ll leave you with the words of one of our great nurses. “A young patient of mine that is dying told her Doctor that she had never been on a trip anywhere, but wanted to go to the Carribean. He shot her down said there was no way forget it. She came back home in tears. She loves Dolphins and wanted to swim with them….I am happy to report that true love still exists and God is not dead. She was picked up by a limo, treated like royalty, and dreams do come true.”
*If you or someone you know needs special care from a special group of people contact Amedisys Hospice of Walterboro. (843)549-5166