November 21, 2019
Twice each year, Curry staff gather for a client Memorial Service to both remember and share information about our seniors who passed away during the previous year. This event gives staff an opportunity to share stories and to acknowledge our clients and patients whom Curry has been intimately connected with for many years. The service was led by Medical Director, Dr. Justin Morgan and Director of Clinical Programs, Ann Tuszynski. Twenty-nine seniors were recognized – many of whom have few family members nearby.
Here are some of the stories that were shared by Peer staff who connect with the most isolated seniors:
Teresa would tell me all the time, especially when I would track her down on one of her many hospital stays, “you are the only one that comes to visit me, you are the only one who cares,” despite a few others in her life (including her step-son). The IHSS workers were amazed at how she would light up when I came by to see her! At home, Teresa would reach out and hold my hand while we visited and laughed often through her pain! The special bond that we shared will forever be there every single time the memory of this beautiful lady comes to mind!
She was 86 when she went to her rest in July.
Leticia was someone who looked with great anticipation to my visits with her, and a very charming person. We would often have waffles with butter and maple syrup for breakfast while we listened to classical baroque music on my phone. She would tell me stories of when she was young, traveling to exotic destinations like Iran, and the former Soviet Union, where she had to meet her hosts in a place like a forest or in a busy Bazzar, to avoid suspicion or being followed. She loved horses, and sometimes slept in a stable if there was a mare about to give birth, to assist in case there were complications. I affectionately called her “The ponies’ midwife,” which made her laugh. She would have been 100 years in August of 2020.
When her son Jim informed me she had passed away he said, “you made a great difference in the last days of my mother’s life,” referring to the Curry Peer Program. Mrs. Parker made a great difference in my life, and inspired me tremendously.
Staff also read aloud the following poem during the service:
When I die
give what’s left of me away
and old men that wait to die.
And if you need to cry,
cry for your brother
walking the street beside you.
And when you need me,
put your arms
and give them
what you need to give to me….
Look for me
in the people I’ve known
Love doesn’t die,
So, when all that’s left of me is love,
give me away.
– Merrit Malloy