Terri Garber 'True Story' - Living Every Moment through Hospice Care
Terri Garber, patient account representative at UnityPoint Clinic, realized the toll that cancer was taking on her family when her mother was admitted to Taylor House Hospice in September of 2010.
“The day my mother was admitted to hospice brought us to our knees. We did not see it coming and didn’t realize the cancer had taken her so far from us,” Terri said.
One week following her mother’s admittance, Terri’s grandmother was also admitted to Taylor House in a room directly across the hall from her daughter. While Terri and her family were overwhelmed and emotionally exhausted, they were thankful to be at such a wonderful facility.
“Never before did Taylor House have a mother and daughter in the facility at the same time,” Terri said. “The staff became emotionally connected to these two beautiful women and we realized we had gained more family through this journey.”
Terri was happy to find that staff at Taylor House took care of all their needs, never allowing her family to feel alone. “My favorite memory was the first week my mother was a patient. She had asked for a soft boiled egg mashed up with saltine crackers, salt and pepper and butter. Her nurse admitted she had no idea how to make it, but would try. My mother got out of bed and offered to show her. The two walked down to the kitchen and my mother, who was happiest in the kitchen, gave her last cooking lesson,” Terri said. “We were all crying with happy tears and laughing hysterically at her stubbornness. She never gave up.”
Home Away From Home
Despite her fear of facing the dying process, Terri was still able to find joy. “I cherish the time and every little experience we had there,” Terri said. “Each day had meaning and a greater purpose that was going to bring us strength. I never felt closer to God than I did during that time.”
Terri’s mother passed away on October 12, 2010 and her grandmother passed away the following day. Even today, staff at Taylor House continue to be involved in Terri’s life. “We have attended a wedding, shared the birth of two babies and sent countless texts back and forth to a dear friend. One door closed and another opened when we gained a new family member who my mother and grannie felt so close to,” Terri said.
Terri Graber’s family photo – her home away from home at Taylor Hospice House