Tracey Robertson -- walking for -- James Huller
What My Grandfather Brought
to the Dance of My Life
There is a song sung by Wynonna Judd called “You Were Loved”. The chorus specifically sounds in my head: “when you were touched by someone, held by someone, meant something to someone you can then look back on your life and know you were loved”.
I remember hearing that song for the first time when my grandfather was in the hospital suffering from Congestive Heart Failure. At the time we, as a family, did not know such a disease was “fatal”. While his heart had always been physically weak he was such a strong, strong man. And the spirit of his heart was so powerful we just always assumed the combination would keep him around for a very long time. Unfortunately as all terminal illness does, it did take his life and while it has been 18 years since he died it just seems like yesterday that I laid my head beside his on a pillow and shared a loving conversation.
My grandfather was a man of few words which made our last hours together even more significant. Even though I always knew how much he loved me, being able to speak the words and share the feelings just made everything make so much more sense. Knowing we left nothing unsaid meant I had no regrets and this gave me the strength to help my family deal with their loss. The two people I would typically turn to in such an hour of pain; my father and grandmother needed me. The timing of his death meant I was the one who had to tell his wife and son that he was gone. As much as I was suffering the pain of losing my grandfather, their pain of losing a husband and father respectfully meant I had to draw strength from him. It was the only way I could do what I knew he needed me to do.
I still draw strength from him every day. The way he lived his life absent of judgment. The way he didn’t see color, religion or station in life. His generous and welcoming nature. One of our family’s collective favorite memories was how he greeted the garbage collectors on a hot summer day, cold beer in hand for each of them. Remembering how he was makes me want to work harder and help realize the dream of hospice. It is the same spirit of nonjudgmental, unconditional love and support for any man, woman and child facing the distress of a terminal illness that was the meaning of his life. I know if he could have painted a picture of my life’s work, he would have painted the picture of hospice.
I ask you today to help me honor the memory of Jim Huller while helping me to raise funds for the hospice programs we offer with Home Hospice Association. Together we are delivering quality end of life care to our friends, family, neighbours all across Canada. I have set a goal of $1500.00 that will be registered in his honor. Any gift of any amount will make such a difference and will be forever appreciated.
Here are the ways you can help
Send an e-transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org (indicate in your email that you are making this donation to support Tracey Robertson in her walk in memory of Jim Huller and that the answer to the security question is Huller)
To make a secure online donation with your credit card simply follow this link to Canada Helps (https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/home-hospice-association/). Where you see Dedicate this Donation please click and indicate Jim Huller.
Tax Receipts will be issued for donations of $25 or more