The Holiday season can definitely be a season full of joy and happiness.  It's a time for family and friends to come together and celebrate their good  fortune.  Part of that, at least for me, is remembering the past and those who have influenced us.  Sadly, families get smaller every year, and sometimes those families are touched by cancer, heart disease, or other ailments.  You can remember those you've lost with a great memorial at Bothwell Regional Health Center.

As you might not remember, my mother had cancer pretty badly the last few years of her life.  For about three to four months, I took my mother to radiation and chemotherapy treatments almost every day.  That's her at her last Christmas - you can tell she was on steroids, since her face was so puffy. Anyway, I also took care of my grandmother in her later years.  I took her to doctor's appointments, out to lunch, brought her her favorite cookies and all that stuff.  It's strange to have the holidays without them. Sometimes I still catch myself thinking "Oh, I should get that for Mom this Christmas" or "I should get the brand of turkey and noodles that Grandma wants...." Then I have to remind myself that they're not here.  While I'm thankful for the family and loved ones I still have, it's good to remember them around this time of year.

So The Bothwell Regional Health Center Hospice is asking anyone who has a late loved one to Community Tree of Memories Celebration at 6 p.m. on Dec. 11. The ceremony will take place south of the hospital’s main entrance, on the west side of the main parking lot.  This year marks the 20th anniversary of this event to honor the memory of loved ones. Attendees are encouraged to bring an ornament in memory of their loved ones to hang on one of three trees, which will remain outside on display throughout December.  So  make sure it's nothing too expensive and that it's weatherproof, you'd hate to lose it or get it ruined by the elements.

The Tree of Memories provides a unique way to honor and remember loved ones who have died but will always be in your hearts, thoughts and prayers. They're also going to be having some time for families and friends to talk about a special memory about their loved one during the ceremony.  For more information, call Amy Brust, Bothwell Regional Health Center Hospice, at 660-829-2700.

Remeberingly yours,