August 25, 2017
Moore Mission Moments - The Watershed Group

HARRY 8/8/17

by Patti Moore


            Last time, I wrote about the importance of taking a moment and “taking a knee” to acknowledge the human being in our care; of looking beyond the chart, if you will, to honor our common humanity. It’s easy to lose sight of that when care providers are running on empty, overwhelmed and skating on the edge of frustration as so many do. And yet, we too are only human, and some days, that doesn’t feel like enough. I’d been thinking a lot about that this past week – and then this poem found its way into my inbox, sent along via a friend. Coincidence? I think not.

            It takes the words of someone as thoughtful and caring as Heidi O’Neil to remind us of the profound and – yes - holy nature of what we undertake in caring for the dying, and to remind us how much they give us in the process.  They are our teachers.

            Every death is different; every death is the same.  Sand all looks the same on the beach, but when it’s photographed through a microscope, its infinite colors and dazzling variety are revealed. The difference lies only in our ability to see it; the miracle of its beauty was always there. This lovely poem was written by a hospice volunteer who saw past the chart to the humanity of her patient – and who took a knee...

Harry 8/8/17

by Heidi O’Neil


With the crash of thunder and rain against the window, you were gone.

Your heartbeat lingered precious minutes more

Your last breath gave way to silence

Gone was the wheezing
The weakened limbs
And lungs
Sadly too, your stories
Your funny disposition
Your kind eyes,
And your many acts of grace

I still catch you in my midst
I smile as i feel your nudge
You taught me much as you lived your last days - with humility, strength, kindness, patience

You taught me the power of love

The peace we can share in our final days

The strength of our stories

The importance of repeating them

We shared a lifetime in days
An intimacy in moments
Connection in a whisper 

Now you stand beside me - a messenger of how to help others

I listen intently

Although I say goodbye for now,
I forever hold you close
For in the end, I whispered I love you
You whispered it back
Our hands clutched as you breathed your very last breath

And I cemented you deep in my heart 

In the space between thoughts
Was the vision of your boyish grin
Your giant wave
Signaling your release from this plane
This pain
Our young legs ran free
And together we crossed the bridge that finally delivered you home



 Beach sand magnified 250 times



GAME-CHANGING TECHNOLOGY is coming at us so quickly that it’s hard to keep up.


What can it do for us, and for our burgeoning aging population? Here, it s upports independent living : “A sophisticated depth sensor hanging over the front door of an elderly couple’s home in eastern South Dakota tracks their walking speed and even recognizes if either falls. Inside the home, infrared motion sensors monitor the couple as they move from room to room. Even their mattress is fitted with sensors — one on each side of the bed — that monitor their heart rates and sleep patterns at night.

            At ages 93 and 96, the pair are still healthy enough to live independently. But their daughter, Dr. Marjorie Skubic, lives a nine-hour drive away in Missouri and had always worried about them. Were they going about their day as usual? Were they sleeping well? Getting enough exercise?

            In the seven months since their home has been equipped with all those sensors, however, Skubic worries a lot less. She knows that if there’s a fall or some worrisome change in her parents' behavior, she’ll get an email alert.”

…And here , it offers a thought-provoking possibility of  “life after life” for this author’s father.   “The thought feels impossible to ignore, even as it grows beyond what is plausible or even advisable. Right around this time I come across an article online, which, if I were more superstitious, would strike me as a coded message from forces unseen. The article is about a curious project conducted by two researchers at Google. The researchers feed 26 million lines of movie dialog into a neural network and then build a chatbot that can draw from that corpus of human speech using probabilistic machine logic. The researchers then test the bot with a bunch of big philosophical questions.


“What is the purpose of living?” they ask one day. The chatbot’s answer hits me as if it were a personal challenge.“To live forever,” it says.”


I’m inspired by what these wonderful hospices are doing to improve lives in their communities – and to make their organizations known for their good works above and beyond their primary mission.


“As the Vineyard Ages, Demand for Hospice Services Grows” – “In the past 36 years, Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard has become known as the Island’s primary source for end-of-life care and bereavement counseling. It is one of just a handful of staffed hospice programs around the country that operate unfettered by insurance. An alternative fundraising model allows the Island Hospice program to offer more services to more people — and at no cost to patients and families.

            But a rapidly aging population, along with an increase in deaths associated with drug overdoses in recent years, have strained the program like never before, making fundraising all the more critical.”


And a big “ Mazel tov!” to Hospice of the Comforter in Orlando which received a grant from The Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando (JFGO) in support of their Community Rabbi program, a long-time collaboration between JFS and Hospice of the Comforter. In addition to providing hospice services, Rabbi Arnie Siegel is a source of pastoral support to unaffiliated and needy community members.

What’s your hospice doing to create alliances and awareness in your community? I’d love to hear about it!  Send your stories, press releases, and announcements to: [email protected]


VERY EXCITED TO SHARE THIS NEWS: I'm Certified as a High Performance Coach! From the press release:

"How do you define high-performance leadership? Hospice consultant and executive coach Patti Moore, one of only 300 High Performance coaches in the world trained and certified by the Certified High Performance Coaching™ (CHPC) Program, describes it as “succeeding beyond what’s expected, consistently and over the long term.” Taught by Brendon Burchard, the world’s leading high performance coach, Gainesville business leader Moore received her certification this past June, and is putting it to work helping executives and leaders to be more effective and successful in their roles. “Unlike other programs that lead you to address a few discreet goals or obstacles, this one helps you to succeed in six main areas of life—psychology, physiology, productivity, people, purpose, and presence. It’s a powerful and cohesive approach that really works, and I’m thrilled to bring what I’ve learned to people wanting to reach higher levels of performance,” Moore says."

Pause, take a breath, smile and enjoy the summer sky at our RiverCove Retreat Center
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