Highlights of the BCHPCA conference
- Charmaine Crooks, Olympian, was the MC for the awards banquet! Charmaine blessed us with her grace, generousity of spirit, and stories of her family’s experiences with palliative care. To be in her presence was to feel of greatness and humility simultaneously. To be greeted by her was to feel loved. I would expect this from a great spiritual leader, but had not expected to feel this from a great athlete. Thanks Charmaine for sharing yourself with us!
- Glenda Standeven, author of “Choosing to Smile” shared stories and laughter from her life, including the irony of having a leg amputated and carrying the name “STANDEVEN”. Her stories were hilarious and inspiring. Thanks Glenda!
- My dear teacher colleague Elizabeth Causton did not surprise me, she delivered yet another FABULOUS presentation titled “Changing the way we care: Self First” and reminded us of the importance of “putting our own oxygen on before helping someone with theirs” and suggested that the lesson from flying can be applied to our lives.
- Day two of the conference was actually a day sponsored by Kearney’s funeral home – and Dr Alan Wolfelt spoke to us. He is a fabulous speaker, and brings the theory of loss and grief and mourning from theory to practicality with humour and warmth.
- And…. perhaps the best part of all…. this focus of this conference was on the Hospice Societies,… and I so enjoyed meeting people from hospices located throughout the province… . What a great group of individuals! Kay Johnson received the Award of Excellence, and her acceptance speech acknolwedged the role of many of the earlier leaders of HPC in BC – who paved the way for what is being enjoyed and built upon today.
After the ferry home to Victoria, we wrapped up in blankets, sat on the deck, and watched the sky get dark, the stars shine, and the moon move across the sky. I lit some candles by the edge of the deck that gave enough light so we could see each other. We shared some great discussion with our daughter Krystal and her hubby Jared… and gently and suddenly a big beautiful BARRED OWL landed on the railing just ten feet from us! S/He sat and looked at us, looked around, and after a few minutes swooped down to the garden and up to the corner of the roof. It was a most unique and cherished moment. One we will always remember. (For those who read the story “I heard the owl call my name”, … he did not call our names, just looked at us!)