By Marlene von Friederichs-Fitzwater, Executive Director, 12/28/20

As this year ends, I struggle with finding reasons to appreciate 2020. On the one hand, it has been a terrible year, full of the tragic loss of thousands of individuals who were husbands, wives, sisters, brothers, sons, and daughters – without adequate resources, testing, and support. Most of us had to work from home, avoid close contact with others and give up going out to eat. Then I read this poem from the Zen Caregiving Project:

Even in the midst of a long dark winter,

gratitude like breathing,

is available in each moment.

We only need to return to it, 

again and again.

So, I was reminded to return to all the things that happened in 2020 that I can be grateful for – a significant increase in the number of supporters and donors for Joshua’s House Hospice; the continued assistance of the Thomas Law Group who provided hours and hours of legal help; the multiple offers of support from local artists to market their work and donate to Joshua’s House Hospice; and gaining the information that illustrated the need and benefit of selling the property we had purchased for Joshua’s House Hospice, in order to be open to other options.

One of those other options was the generous offer from a local community health leader to have 5-8 beds in a community health center open for our community in early 2021. This will create a model of Joshua’s House Hospice along with the possibility of using adjacent property to create a Joshua’s House Hospice village with 10-20 beds providing shelter, hospice/comfort care, clothing, meals and other services. There is also the possibility of having 8-10 Joshua’s House Hospice beds in a community center in Davis.

Thus, the long dark winter of 2020 will end with increasing gratitude for everyone who made a donation, participated in our virtual 5K walk/run, partnered with us to raise money, and acknowledged their support. Thank you to all the Heroes for the Homeless who will bring Joshua’s House Hospice into reality in 2021! May you find gratitude as the year closes and look ahead to the new year!

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