During seventh grade, I lost my grandmother to a short battle with cancer. My grandmother spent two of the last four weeks of her life in the "Butterfly Wing," a hospice care unit at the Baton Rouge General Hospital that specializes in having patients come in at the last minute when things take a turn for the worst. I will never forget when my sister and I brought our grandmother a bouquet of flowers on Easter morning. She was only getting sicker and rarely made any expressions, but I still remember the huge smile that came across her face when she saw those flowers. My grandmother lost her battle to cancer a week after Easter Sunday. I remember the day she moved down from Shreveport she asked me to paint her fingernails. And on April 15th I sat next to her hospital bed holding her hand and painting her nails a beautiful light pink as she took her last breath and passed away. I am at peace knowing she died doing something she loved: having her nails painted. But even knowing this, it was still extremely difficult to watch my family members suffer a loss during such a joyous holiday season.
While I was at the Alzar School I was asked to identify a need in my home community. I knew I wanted to get involved with the Butterfly Wing. I noticed the lack of joy the area had when my Grandmother was there. I wanted to create a team at Episcopal that would be willing to learn more about Hospice Care and help bring a more joyful environment at the Butterfly Wing.