Over the past few weeks The Evening Sun and Hospice has introduced you to some special people Hospice has cared for. These unique individuals live in Oxford, Pitcher, Norwich, Mount Upton, and South New Berlin. Each has been able to fulfill their wish to stay at home where they’re most comfortable because of the services Hospice provides. While their lives were lived in very different ways, their right to a dignified and comfortable end of life journey is very much the same.
Hospice hopes that the stories over the next few weeks will move you to support the “Friends of Hospice Campaign.” The funds raised are used to fill the 20% gap between reimbursement from Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance companies, and the actual cost of daily patient care. You can reach Hospice at 334-3556 or post your donation on the agency’s website at www.hospicechenango.org.
Living with Loss but Looking Forward
Delaine McGee Savieneso is a fighter. She fought colon cancer and beat it a decade ago, but now lung cancer is taking its toll. However, don’t count this West Virginia girl out, because “I’m not going to give up on life until I’m knocked down.” Although she’s only sixty one, DeLaine says she’s completed her goals in life. “I have two beautiful children and I’ve been married to Albie for twenty-six years. I’ve lived a good life.”
Much of that life was spent in the South, West Virginia, and later Virginia Beach where she learned to surf as a teenager “because that’s where the boys were.” She also learned to hang-glide from the mammoth sand dunes at Kill Devil Hills in the Outer Banks. DeLaine credits her mother for fostering her adventurous spirit and optimism. “Whenever I left the house as a kid, Mama would look me straight in the eye, wink, and say ‘be careful’, and I was off on my next adventure.”
DeLaine moved north for love, and eventually settled in Mount Upton, working at Amphenol for more twenty years. She and Albie also owned a bait and tackle shop, and won trophies for reeling in the biggest bass at fishing tournaments throughout the northeast.
DeLaine’s sister and mother have passed away, and she claims she’s not afraid of dying because “I’m looking forward to a family reunion.” Recently, DeLaine claims she asked ‘her angels’ to send a sign that her mom will be waiting for her on the other side. “My mother had a green thumb and a knack for growing the most gorgeous African violets,’ says DeLaine,“a skill I definitely didn’t inherit.” In fact, she says her scraggly violet in the kitchen window didn’t have a darn bloom on it. “Well you could have bowled me over with a feather when I went downstairs the next morning, after asking for that sign from my mother, and that African violet was covered with the most beautiful blooms you’ve ever seen. That’s all the proof I need that my Mama will be meeting me at heaven’s gate.”
Note: Unfortunately, Dee’s husband Albie passed away last month.