Jim Lamothe and his wife Gloria were married for ten years. He treasures the short time they had together, and fondly recalls the adventures they shared. He calls his late wife a sweet woman, who worked as a cleaner and dreamed of becoming a missionary.

Jim, like many people, knew little about hospice care, but he had experienced life as a caregiver to his first wife, who also passed away. McNally House Hospice offered him the luxury of not being a caregiver, but a husband to Gloria when she was admitted.      

“It’s hard to say it was a wonderful time, but it was a wonderful time in the situation we were in,” Jim said. “It allowed me to come and spend time with her and not have to worry about any of the actual caregiving.”

Jim and Gloria loved to walk around the McNally House grounds, where in the spring, beautiful gardens are planted and peaceful waterfalls allow for residents and family members to enjoy their time outdoors. This was especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic. Gloria loved gardening. Jim says she loved to see things grow and loved to nurture them. She would say all the time, she said she felt so close to God when down working in the garden.

Her appreciation of gardening was something McNally House and Cole’s Garden Centre wanted to honour. In her final months, she was able to help plant a vegetable garden in the raised garden beds at McNally House. Jim said it helped to take her mind off of things. “Seeing things start to grow and take life, she got to enjoy that.”     

Jim said that McNally House is a place of not only compassion, but of love. The staff and volunteers did everything to keep Gloria and himself comfortable. “If a problem arose, they were always paying attention to Gloria. If she needed something she barely had to ask,” he said.

Jim’s advice to anyone going through something similar is to trust McNally House to take care of their loved one through the difficult time at the end of one’s life. “We got to spend our last times together — being together,” he said.

Jim and Gloria got to share their final months doing what she loved. Like the vegetable garden, the compassion continues to grow at McNally House Hospice.

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