Linda Rodgers, a 67 years old, had one last thing she wanted to accomplish. Ms. Linda, a retired judge, now is mostly confined to her home. She confided in her nurse, Jennifer, that she had a bucket list. And, on that bucket list she said that she wanted to go to Callaway Gardens to attend the Fantasy in Lights Christmas Extravaganza. Jennifer, reached out to our volunteer coordinator, Misty, and Ms. Linda’s dream began to take shape. Callaway Gardens and its staff showed excellent community involvement by jumping into action and donating four all-inclusive tickets. It was decided, that a trip that would be made to Pine Mountain to enjoy the butterfly gardens and the Fantasy in Lights.
While the trip was all planned, there were many obstacles to overcome. Ms. Linda battles multiple physical and medical challenges. She was accompanied by 2 registered nurses to ensure that her health was a priority. She also had her 2 daughters and her sister with her. Arrangements were made for a transport chair and oxygen to accompany her to ensure her comfort. Walking great distances is no longer an option for Ms. Linda, so she was able to enjoy the sites from the comfort of a wheelchair. Prior to leaving her home in Montezuma, Linda was given a cuddle basket. The cuddle basket contained a large blanket and scarf as well as snacks for the trip. The first stop of the day was made at the Butterfly gardens. As a company, the butterfly is of great semblance to us. The transitioning from the cocoon to that of a butterfly is one of life’s miracles. The transition is both continuous and unavoidable and symbolizes the emotional and spiritual journey of healing. The butterfly teaches us to change our way of thinking of only our loss and despair but to enjoy the celebration of life and what better way to celebrate life than with the trip of a lifetime.
Pine Mountain is a quaint little town which offers a wide variety of options for the average tourist. As you know, Ms. Linda is no average tourist. She and her family along with our staff were able to enjoy a night out at a local restaurant. Ms. Linda stated that this was the first time that she went out to eat in many months. She enjoyed a bowl of potato soup and eating with her family. The most exciting part of the trip began our journey to see eight million lights. Ms. Linda was unable to tolerate riding on the trolley as she quickly becomes very cold and was very weak and fatigued, however, a minivan full of excitement headed through the fantasy. Seven ladies rode through the lights and sang Christmas carols together. Ms. Linda was able to make a new memory with her daughters as well as her sister and allowed Pruitt Health Hospice to be a small part.