Recently my beloved Steve retired from a long and accomplished career at the University of Florida (I have not retired but am working virtually most of the time).
Our new chapter in life has begun with a 5-week camping adventure in our 30-foot Airstream travel trailer. Neither of us has ever taken off this long and it is VERY different to have an open schedule vs. trying to fit a vacation into 2 weeks!
I made plans in my usual manner: look for interesting places to go, do as much as we can at each stop, eat out at some nice places, have some campfires and s’mores and keep moving.
Traveling in a self-contained travel trailer requires a very different focus of attention. It takes longer to get to places, and campgrounds come in all shapes and sizes from the fancy ‘resorts’ with lots of amenities, to some that have us lined up tight as sardines, to the mom-and-pop places with grassy fields.
When we arrived in the...
Image above: Mary J. Labyak at the NHPCO Gala 2009
"I think hospice is the greatest single honor that has ever occurred in my life. To have the opportunity to be a part of building something that makes such a difference to society. And I think what is really important is that hospice is a dream that’s come true, and a dream that’s grown beyond all of our expectations.
In terms of values, it’s a dream that didn’t come out of academia, it didn’t come out of research, it didn’t come out of organized medicine. It was the dream of people themselves that had lost a loved one and simply wanted to reach out and see if they could make that path different for others. And it was above all about human dignity, no matter how long life was.
And I think it has grown so much not because we were smart in building it, but because we had the capacity to listen to what our patients and communities needed and to...