Crafts from Athens, Georgia
The Vow Renewal


On February 24, 2017 in the Chapel of the Oaks of Athens, Mr. and Mrs. James Craft came together with their families to renew their vows in marriage of 41 years. Mr. Craft has been on hospice services since 2015 and has had his ups and downs since. He began living at home under the care of his wife, but between financial struggles, health decline, health issues with his wife and the need to care for her grandchildren, Mr. Craft made the decision to transfer to a Long Term Care Facility. He had a hard time with this adjustment as he had to not only leave his home, but also be away from his wife and grandchildren. He began at the Oaks of Athens, but quickly desired to move closer to his wife who is living in Monroe, GA. After some time he was able to transfer to another facility, however with disagreements and struggles to adjust, Mr. Craft found home again at the Oaks. After settling down from the moving and readjusting, Mr. Craft began to open up with both the staff from the Oaks and Hospice. He discussed his health, the concept of death approaching, his desire to make up for lost time with his wife by treating her to everything she deserves. His love for his family showed during every visit, every phone call he would make, and every story he would tell. Due to the love he showed and his wish to do something special for his wife made this couple an easy choice for the Committed to Caring Project. After speaking with Mr. Craft’s bride, our social worker and chaplain were off to tell Mr. Craft the good news. Unfortunately, right before announcing the exciting upcoming vows labs were drawn on Mr. Craft showing that he now has Stage 4 Chronic Kidney disease. Mr. Craft handled the news well, but being told of a vow renewal brought him many emotions. Mr. Craft became tearful upon hearing the news, stating that Hospice did not have to do this for him as Hospice already does enough. Then when being told that his family, including the grandchildren, would receive new clothes for the ceremony, tears filled his eyes and he expressed gratefulness as well as excitement for the idea and plans. Plans came together with the decorations and clothing, so when the big day arrived all the family came in their new clothing with extended family present to witness. Before the ceremony was to begin with last minute details to be finished, our chaplain took the time to speak to Mr. Craft, who was nervous and excited. The ceremony began and with the assistance of Mr. Craft’s hospice CNA, he was wheeled down the aisle and then able to stand with a walker to wait for his bride as his only wish was to stand beside her. Mrs. Craft was escorted down the aisle by her oldest grandson, after their granddaughter and grandson took the honor of flower girl and ring bearer. The look of love as they both locked eyes walking down the aisle was a special moment the couple allowed us to witness. They ceremony took place, with the couple hand in hand, along with vows and an exchange of rings committing the couple together as one again. Mr. Craft was able to stand throughout the ceremony and with assistance from his CNA returned to his wheelchair for safety. The couple had exchanged the kiss of marriage and the reception was then to begin. With the tables decorated, Mr. Craft’s favorite food and the cake ready, Mr. Craft once again became tearful from excitement and joy of this recommitment. The cake was then cut with icing being smeared on the faces of the couple for fun, the food was served and everyone enjoyed the barbecue and time together as a family. Laughs were shared along with memories created to top off the rejoining of a loving couple. As Mr. Craft became short of breath and tired from the joyous event, the family began to pack up their things and split ways. While separating was the hardest part of the day, the memories created last forever along with all the pictures the families are able to treasure. A week after the ceremony, Mr. Craft was spending time with his volunteer and mentioned that “he was very happy with the service of PruittHealth as they just threw him an incredible vow renewal service.” He discussed his appreciation, the excitement for pictures to document the day, and that even in his wildest dreams, he could have never given his wife the beautiful ceremony that PruittHealth Hospice provided. 

  • Location
  • Athens, Georgia