Care Dimensions: I Keep my Dad Present by Donating to Care Dimensions

Voices of Care

I Keep my Dad Present by Donating to Care Dimensions

Posted on December 21, 2021 by Jessica Wade

Jessica Wade honors her father Ronald Wade’s memory each Christmas by raising and donating money in his name for Care Dimensions.

My connections to Care Dimensions have run long and deep.

In 1989, when I was 13, my grandmother, Virginia Cookson, was cared for at home by Care Dimensions for two months. Her RN case manager was Diane Stringer, who would eventually become president of Hospice of the North Shore, now Care Dimensions. Diane supported my family and was present at my grandmother’s bedside for her final breath.

Every Christmas after that, my dad, Ronald Wade, so moved by the care provided to his mother-in-law, always requested a donation be made to Care Dimensions in his name. That's all he ever wanted as his gift.

On the 20th anniversary of my grandmother’s death, my mom, Kathryn Wade, made prayer shawls and lap blankets for patients at the Kaplan Family Hospice House. Diane personally thanked my mother and their photo was taken.

In 2019, my father died and for the first Christmas without him, I ran a Facebook fundraiser to benefit Care Dimensions in his memory and to keep him present in our hearts. My brother Eric and his wife Michele donated and this year she is donating $400, which her company will match through its matching-gift program.

Raising and donating money in my dad’s name makes me feel good. He was a giving person, independent, kind, funny, and sarcastic. He served in the Navy during Vietnam and was the Boy Scout leader for Troop #1 in Beverly. A hard worker and strong willed, he was very much a provider for our family. My dad had been a skilled machine assembler for over 25 years and loved being the fixer at home. That role ended as his dementia advanced and he lost quite a bit of his cognitive ability. He was aware of it and it bothered him that he couldn’t do what he loved anymore. He walked with a cane and was about to move to a walker when he fell, broke his hip and was hospitalized. He died days later from his multiple health complications.

Care Dimensions’ hospice teams take care of so many families, supporting their patients’ dignity in their last days. I know the love, passion and dedication it takes to do the caregiver job. In the busyness of our “every days,” people forget how important it is to do for others. Donating and fundraising for Care Dimensions is an easy way for me to remember my dad and grandmother and to make it a little easier for other families with Care Dimensions’ help. It’s my way of paying it forward.

 

Learn about the many ways to donate to Care Dimensions.

About the author
Originally from Beverly, Jessica Wade works as a home caregiver and lives in Augusta, Maine.

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Since 1978, Care Dimensions has provided comprehensive and compassionate care for individuals and families dealing with life-threatening illnesses. As the non-profit leader in advanced illness care, we offer services in more than 95 communities in Eastern Massachusetts.