April is National Volunteer Month.  Celebrating remarkable people who give of their time and talents in service to others.  Please enjoy this beautiful story of “Leonard” written by a friend who volunteers at the Alive Hospice Inpatient facility in Nashville, TN.



By Heidi O’Neil
Alive Hospice Volunteer
March 2016

Leonard is 98
His soft, smooth hands reflect a much younger man

He’s blind…so says the paperwork
His hearing aides sit idly on the side table And yet We effortlessly connect

He sees me when I stand in his vision
He says “hello”
He hears me when I wonder of his life aloud He tries to answer, but the words will not come

But the words come easily as he calls for mama He sees her, I’m certain He waits for her to see him, perhaps she’s too far He calls to her again His hands to his mouth like a megaphone I believe she sees him now

He is calm

I ask if I can hold his hand
He grabs mine with intense appreciation And reaches across his body to grab my free hand with his And just like that We are tethered No longer strangers No longer alone on our journeys

We sit this way for an hour or more
My body twisted and hurting
No desire to let go
No doubt his feels the same
No desire to let go

His eyes are beyond kind
Beyond grateful
He smiles from his heart
No doubt mine does the same

That was yesterday
Today, we sit in silence
He rests peacefully

Tomorrow is uncertain
But today my heart is full and smiling upon Leonard

Post By: Patti Moore