Lillian Mayo remembers the good times with her late husband, Maurice. After years of owning and operating a hotel at Carolina Beach, the couple decided to traveling around the country in a motor home.
“When we had the chance, Maurice and I jumped at the opportunity to do that,” Lillian Mayo said. “It was one of the best decisions we ever made.”
Lillian remembers the bad times too. In 2010, Maurice Mayo suffered a fall in the living room. Initially, it was believed all he had was a cracked vertebra, but further evaluation revealed a stark diagnosis: COPD — Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.
“You never expect to hear that, but we faced it head on and did all we could to make (him) comfortable,” Lillian Mayo said. As her husband’s illness rapidly progressed, Lillian Mayo did all she could to keep her husband at home.
Mayo also remember how much help she got from Hospice of Scotland County.
“When I saw Morrison Manor, I realized it was right for us. It is beautiful, so peaceful, and everyone who works there is just magnificent. They did a wonderful job of caring for Honey, making sure he was comfortable in every way, and they took excellent care of the rest of our family, too.”
Mayo’s family and many others say that is why it is important to celebrate National Hospice and Palliative Care Month.
More than 300 people took part in Hospice of Scotland County’s annual Candlelight Memorial Service, held earlier this month at Northview Harvest Ministries.
During the ceremony, the name of each patient served by Hospice of Scotland County during the previous year was read aloud. Family members were invited to come to the front of the church to light a candle in memory of their loved one. Several musicians contributed their talents to the service. Dr. Otis T. McMillan sang “It Is Well With My Soul,” and a choir composed of Hospice staff members and led by Angel Adkins sang, “Light a Candle.” Janine Hepler sang “This Little Light of Mine,” and Joyce Pierce provided musical accompaniment.
Flora Locklear of Maxton was among those who attended this year’s service. Earlier this year, Hospice of Scotland County provided care for her late husband, Wade, and her family.
“It was such a nice service,” Locklear said. “When everyone came forward to light candles, it was so beautiful. It is so nice to have a service like this. Everyone who helped care for Wade was so thoughtful, so it doesn’t surprise me that hospice would do something like this. It is a beautiful way to remember our loved ones.”
Hospice of Scotland County holds the service each November during National Hospice Month, a time to raise public awareness about the benefits hospice care provides to patients and families who are facing a life-limiting illness.
Dr. Darrel D. Gibson, Jr., pastor at Nazareth Missionary Baptist Church, told attendees that tears are not something to fear.
“I’ve had to learn that weeping is alright,” Gibson said. “Crying says that the person we loved is a person who is dear to us. Whenever we find ourselves weeping, we find strength we did not know we had.” In turn, he said, that strength helps us remember the good times we shared with our loved one. “The joy we have is the laughter and fun they brought to our lives.”
Following the service, there was a reception at the church fellowship hall. Hospice of Scotland County volunteers donated and helped serve homemade desserts.
Maurice Mayo died on Feb. 18, 2010. The Mayos’ daughter, Margie, said she was impressed not only with the care her father received, but with the continuing care and attention her mother received from Hospice of Scotland County in the following months.
“The aftercare mom received—the letters, phone calls and visits—was outstanding. When I look back on it, I don’t know how we could have gotten through that time without the help of Hospice. They are truly a blessing.”