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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