There is nothing I have encountered thus far in my life as heart wrenching as losing a cherished loved one.

Two summers ago my family and I were saying goodbye to my father who had lived a very full life of faith, impact and significance. He had served his nation with honor and distinction, he had been a loving husband, father and grandfather and he will always be remembered as a leader of men who had faithfully cared for his Marines. 

He had lived 82 years with great gusto and no regrets and then he bravely endured five really tough ones. Those last few years were physically and emotionally rough for us all as Parkinson’s disease can be brutal, especially when it is accompanied by Parkinson’s dementia. Until you have taken on the role of a caretaker it’s hard to describe how all-encompassing and exhausting this can be. 

My sisters and I will always be grateful and so proud of the incredible love and care our Mother brought to her caretaker’s role with our father. At the very end of his Parkinson’s journey things did get particularly difficult and to this day, I don’t think we would have made it without the extraordinary help provided by an amazing group of ladies who walked with us through those final days.

In my father’s eulogy I made it a point to acknowledge and thank these angels who had cared for our entire family as they gracefully guided the Colonel home with dignity and respect. They were members of a truly remarkable organization, The Compassionate Care Hospice of Hampton, New Hampshire, and I will never forget what they did for my family.

If this story sounds familiar to you, then I am sure you have worked with the good folks at the Hospice of the Piedmont. They, like the ladies at Compassionate Care, are indeed “Angels on our Shoulders” who are doing God’s work for families like yours and mine. Unless you’ve been served by Hospice it will be hard to comprehend how much they do in a period of time that will most likely be the most challenging days of your life. They do it with compassion and professionalism and they literally and figuratively become your anchor in the storm. 

Hospice of the Piedmont benefit

On May 10, 2019 a group of local boys, many of whom you know as The Collegiates, are putting on a “Beach Music Festival” fundraiser for Hospice of the Piedmont that will run from 5:30pm to 9:30pm at High Point’s Mendenhall Station. They will kick off the event playing some of your favorite beach tunes at 6:00pm and will then introduce the headliners of the evening, The Embers, whom many would call the “Greatest Beach Music” band ever. There will be food trucks, beer and wine and plenty of dancing and I want to encourage all of you to not only attend but also generously support Hospice of the Piedmont.

Before I close I have to share how impressed I am with the men who make up The Collegiates band who have raised over $70,000 for several good causes over the years.  Danny Pierce, Otis Harris, Ron Tilley, Steve Neal, Rob Garret, Randy Rich, Fred Amos and Mike DiFoggio will make the music, but they are supported by an Entertainment Committee including Fred Amos, Jerry Hughes, Brandon Lenoir and again, Mike DiFoggio who put in the hard work to make all this happen.  When you hear the phrase “the better angels of our nature,” this is a picture of what it looks like when these angels step up and rally our entire community to meet the needs of a truly good cause – this is what authentic giving is all about!