The idea of the energy within June Strauss ever fading from this earth seemed impossible to imagine at the time. In addition to raising us six kids, June raised millions of dollars on behalf of charitable causes in Tallahassee. In the spring of 2010, Mom celebrated her 80th birthday and seemed to be enjoying her usual perfect health. But in late summer, she was diagnosed with esophageal cancer, which had metastasized to her stomach. Treatment might have given her a little more time, but she chose quality of life instead.
This is a story of lifelong friendship and of a goodbye so special that it still gives us chills. Their friendship started about 1930. Richard and Herb’s bond came full circle when they were both admitted to Hospice House. We were so surprised when we discovered that they were in rooms directly across from each other. It was then that our families shared an experience that only Big Bend Hospice could make possible.
Marshal passed away in May at Big Bend Hospice’s Margaret Z. Dozier Hospice House after a long fight with cancer. The doctors, nurses, therapists, social workers, aides, and volunteers who took care of him became our extended family. Even though Marshal has passed on, Big Bend Hospice is still with me. I see a counselor there once a week, and our social worker calls to check on me. Marshal would be pleased to know that they’re taking care of me!
When you meet Brooke Moore, it’s easy to forget that she hasn’t always been free to be a kid. Her parents drank, didn’t hold steady jobs and didn’t set boundaries for her. Her Aunt Tammy – who was like a mother to Brooke – died from the effects of alcoholism. Brooke shut down. Like a horse wearing blinders, she raced away from the pain and engaged in a variety of harmful behaviors as she struggled to cope. A friend told Brooke about Big Bend Hospice’s Grief Group at Leon High. The sessions helped her cope with the loss of her aunt and cousin and with the trauma of her childhood.