BUCKHANNON — “Our ceremony for Love Lights is to honor and remember our families and loved ones they had to honor them in their remembrance,” Stephanie Lane the social worker for West Virginia Hospice said. On Dec. 3 the hospice gathered their community at the Wesley Chapel to remember people who had passed in the last year and invited families to speak about their relatives and their experiences with West Virginia Hospice.
Lane said Love Lights is also meant to help raise awareness about the Hospice Promise Foundation.
“The foundation is used to help families pay funeral expenses, to pay a bills, if they need something along the time we had them in service or if they needed a special item,” Lane said. “We provide medical equipment but there are some things that are not covered.”
The first speaker at Love Lights was Susan Harsh who spoke about how her mother Roseann Marshall had been part of the hospice community.
“I lost my mom and the time hospice gave my mom gave us so much comfort and joy,” Harsh said. “I know when she was sick, we were deciding what to do and what would be the best choice. We were so at peace with our decision to have someone come in and say we are here and we want to help you.
“I had been taking care of my mom for about 10 years and it was mostly by myself and to have someone to come in and say we want to help you is the best thing you can hear when you’ve been care giving and scared and not knowing what is going to happen.”
Harsh said she thinks having other people in her mother’s life helped her.
“Just to see her interacting with people that were not me and not her family and for her to see that someone cared for her was the best gift that hospice could ever give,” Harsh said.
Chrissy Hull’s mother Carol Lanham entered hospice in 2015.
“We had spent Thanksgiving in WVU, in the hospital, and she was told her next chemo treatment would probably end her right back there and she looked at me and said I want to go home,” Hull said. “I made some calls and I said I need help. We came home with hospice, it was the best choice we could have made. She got to spend the holidays with her family at home.”
Hull said her mother started a bucket list when she got home and they completed it together.
“She flew an airplane, drove a Harley Davidson motorcycle and I never thought I’d see that, but it happened,” Hull said. “She had fun doing it.”
Rhonda Cerullo is the daughter-in-law to Emerick and Antoinette Cerullo.
“Anybody that knew my mother-in-law knew she was the closest thing to a saint that you could ever find, Cerullo said. “My father-in-law was something else, he always made everyone laugh. There are so many stories we could tell.”
Cerullo talked about the four people from the Hospice who impacted their lives the most.
“We were blessed by four angels and we can’t give them enough praise, Jennifer, Stephanie, Meagan and Marsha. You will always be a big part of our lives forever,” Cerullo said. “When mama passed you all came to us with the compassion we needed at that time.”
The Love Lights event ended in prayer, the singing of “This Little Light of Mine” and the lighting of the Christmas tree.
The tree that is lit in the Wesley Chapel will remain lit until the end of December.