PALMDALE — “Pre­cious memories reveal the beauty of love as lives are shared together.”

Precious memories was the theme Thursday even­ing of this year’s an­nu­al ProCare Hospice Com­mu­nity Service of Re­mem­brance in which staff and loved ones gath­ered in the Larry Chim­bole Cultural Center to re­member those who they lost.

“It’s a time to bring people together in a way that is meaningful for them,” said Marc Scar­borough, ProCare di­rect­or of Spiritual Care and organizer of the event.

“This event provides a safe place for those that are grieving the loss of a loved to come and honor them,” he said.

Keeping with the theme, the tables were set with vintage antiques and artifacts such as old cam­eras and picture frames, along with books and flowers. There was also a Missing Man’s table in honor of those vet­er­ans who never re­turned home.

Part of the program included a veterans pray­er and the playing of taps, after the Antelope Val­ley Young Marines per­formed the folding of the flag.

There was a reading of the poem “The Dash” by Linda Ellis, which highlighted the im­port­ance of the dash in between the beginning and end of one’s life.

Next came a video pres­entation, prepared by the Procare Hospice Staff, of photos and names of those who had died.

Pastor Sean Appleton of Hope Chapel in Quartz Hill was the keynote speak­er who taught on love and leaving a legacy. “Love celebrates the good, bears all things, and never fails,” he said.

The local band Wide Awake, featuring Scar­bor­ough, Ian McCartor and Mark Julian, played a sel­ec­tion of songs that brought tears to some in the audience. A box of tis­sues was strategically passed around the aisles of chairs.

The remembrance cer­e­mony continued with what they called the Ebenezer Rock, or “stone of help”, in reference to the Old Testament story of Samuel. With this rock, they invited guests to come up and pick a stone then later decorate it with a picture or a name in someone else’s memory as reminder of the good in their life.

Paul Jimenez, account executive for ProCare, said this event was per­sonal for him as someone who lost his wife 15 years, having to raise his two children on his own.

“We do this to help and serve the community,” he said. “It’s a great thing to be a part of.”

Paula Diaz, one of the Pro­Care chaplains who as­sists families with their spir­itual needs, said it brings out families to honor their loved ones.

“We’re here to en­courage them,” Diaz said, “Even if a family member has passed, ProCare is still there for them. This is really a chance to reunite with fam­ilies and see where they’re at in the grieving process.”

Julie Wotasik was at the event with her father to honor her mother who had passed away in hospice last year.

“ProCare has been really great,” she said, “Through their grief ser­vice and this event, it all really helps.”

ProCare Hospice has served the Antelope Valley community for more than 20 years, providing com­fort care for terminally ill patients at the end of life. They offer this free event to the community with hopes that those in attendance will walk away feeling en­cour­aged and uplifted dur­ing a difficult season in their lives.

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