The Quality of Time

"There's not a day that goes by that we don't think about Hospice. Every day is thanksgiving."

Those are words from parents who's 40-year-old son was diagnosed with a terminal illness.

When the illness progressed, Joni and James Lawrence couldn't provide the care their son Mike needed.

They turned to Hospice in the Pines.

"It's a program set up for terminally ill patients that have been given a life expectancy of six months or less to live. It is a conglomerate of nurses, social workers, chaplains, and volunteers that come together to make sure that the patient is pain-free and comfortable. We address the physical, emotional, and spiritual pain that is often associated with a life-limiting illness," said Napoleon Shaw, the executive director of the program.

That is exactly what Joni and James Lawrence found.

"We looked at what they had to offer at that stage of his illness, and they began to help us right away. They reached out not only to our son, but they taught us there was more to life than just breathing in and out, that there was a lot of things that need to be done. They helped us do that breathing," said Joni Lawrence.

During Mike's care, the Lawrences and the staff of Hospice in the Pines began to bond like family.

"It's hard to really go into what all services they provided, because it's more than just knocking on the door and coming in and tending to your physical needs and leaving. There was a lot between the lines," said James Lawrence.

Their son's life came to an end two years ago, and today the Lawrences are truly thankful for the quality of time they were able to spend with him during his last days.

"You look back and wonder how it would have been without them, and I really don't want to dwell into that too far because I'm blessed with them being there when we needed them and our son needed them."