"I've got life back!" - Heart 'n Home Hospice & Palliative Care, LLC

“One, two, three, four. Quilt and quilt and quilt some more.” Helene says with a smile.

During a recent visit to our La Pine, Oregon office, we had the pleasure of meeting a sweet patient named Helene and her wonderful Volunteer Yvonne. These two have become great friends and they share a common love, quilting.

Helene made her first quilt in high school and since then she has made almost 50 quilts. She was so excited to tell us about her quilting. She laid out quilt pieces, of multiple projects, all over the conference table in the office and she described each piece to us. She told us how she got inspiration from different things in her life. With sheer joy, she goes from piece to piece explaining how she came up with the idea for that project.

Helene was a teacher and her school lessons even inspired quilts. She said, “One time we were working on angles in math and I thought that we could practice measuring and angles with quilt pieces and then that became my pattern.” Another time she had her students write letters to the governors of all 50 states asking the governors different questions about their states such as, what is your state bird? Or what are some interesting things about your state? She said, “We got the most interesting responses. Some sent encouraging letters back to the students. One state sent all the kids a gold state seal. The governor from Wyoming even sent us a famous oatmeal cookie recipe which is the best oatmeal cookie that I’ve ever tasted.” After the students collected information about each state, Helene had the idea to make a quilt with 50 blocks that include the state name, state flower, and state bird. That quilt ended up hanging in the Montana Capitol Building for many years. Helene proudly showed us a picture of herself and the quilt.

It was easy to see that quilting has been a great love of hers for most of her adult life. Helene then explained how she got to a point where she could no longer quilt. She couldn’t work the machine any longer and her projects were stored away. She figured that her quilting days were over. “I was so glad when Yvonne showed up at my door because if she hadn’t come to get me back into my quilting, I might never have done it. …. I’ve got live back, I feel.” she said. “Yvonne came and got me organized…. She came and got me thinking about quilts again!”

Tears filled the eyes of each person in the room and Yvonne gave her friend a gentle hug. “I’ve got life back.” These words kept repeating in our minds. What started out as a way for Yvonne to give back to the community turned into a beautiful friendship. The two ladies meet almost weekly at the Heart ‘n Home conference room to work on a quilt together. Helene gives direction and Yvonne works the machine. “My goal is to finish this quilt and without Yvonne’s expertise, this wouldn’t get done” Helene shares.

“I am going to help her finish this. This will become an heirloom for her family” Yvonne adds.

What a pair these two sweet ladies are and what an inspiration! Their story is an example of what hospice is all about. It’s about living your best life for each and every last minute of it. I’m so inspired by people like Yvonne who go out of their way to help others. If you’d like to learn more about Yvonne and volunteering in hospice,  read her story here. Then you too can help bring life back to others.

Below is a video of Yvonne & Helene.



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