By Kristin Beerman | email
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – We think of the holidays as a time for enjoying family and friends but, for many, it is a time for remembering a great loss - someone who is not there as they always have been.
There is an organization that helps families through that loss, Hospice of Lubbock, the first such agency in Lubbock. Today it has merged with Covenant Health Systems and serves 19 counties in this region. It is the only non-profit Hospice dedicated to serving children as well as adults who are faced with a terminal illness, adults like Evelyn Cash.
"I think the thing that I love the most is singing and that's the saddest part is not being able to sing," said Evelyn Cash, R.N. and previous board member of Hospice of Lubbock.
For thirty years, Evelyn had a voice in the choir at First United Methodist Church. "And I got this cough and so I went to the doctor and he thought it was just allergies," said Mrs. Cash.
It turns out x-rays found pneumonia and then an MRI found lung cancer underneath. Doctors told Evelyn Cash time was not on her side. She said they gave her three to six months to live and that was two years ago, but this wasn't the first time Evelyn has beaten the odds.
In 1971, Evelyn had breast cancer. "And they told me that I would not see my son graduate from high school. So now, I'm seeing my grandsons graduate from high school," said Mrs. Cash.
Nearly 40 years later, Evelyn has made the most of her life. Aside from singing in church every Sunday, she is perhaps most proud of her work as a nurse for 51 years and for 18 years, as a volunteer for Hospice of Lubbock, a group that she has now turned to for comfort in her last days. "Because there's nothing more they can do. I've had chemo and I've had radiation and there's nothing more they can do," said Mrs. Cash. "I lost a son when he was 15 and I'm gonna see him. So, I'll cry but that's a part of life."
Which is why Hospice is here with Evelyn every day now, preparing the way for this part of her life. "I think that people tell you that you go to Hospice to die. You don't go to Hospice to die. You go to live," said Evelyn Cash. "You live every moment in a much more meaningful way than you possibly could at a hospital or by yourself at home."
Evelyn says she still tries to attend church, to sit and listen to the choir play, which she said she really enjoys. "Hospice is like having a friend with you all the time," said Mrs. Cash. "It's been a good life. And if it ends tomorrow, ok."
"It's been good. And I've been happy," said Evelyn Cash, R.N. and Hospice patient.
You'll find the Hospice Tree of Lights at the corner of 19th and University. Light Up A Life is an annual fundraiser for Hospice of Lubbock, since that is the only non-profit Hospice in Lubbock and depends on donations to survive.
The dove at the top will light up when Hospice reaches its goal and right now, they're just half-way there, in need of another $30,000 to light up that dove.
If you would like to make a donation in honor or in memory of someone, please call Hospice of Lubbock at 795-2751.
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