Contributed by Lisa Baggett, Big Bend Hospice Professional Relations Liaison

At Big Bend Hospice, we understand that life is precious. Our organization celebrates the lives of our patients and families who entrust us with their care every single day. We thought it would be a wonderful idea to start the New Year by asking our beloved community to share their personal stories of people whose lives they celebrate. My name is Lisa Baggett and I am the Professional Relations Liaison for Wakulla, Taylor, and parts of Leon County. I’d like to start this month-long event by celebrating my mom, Brenda.

2020 was a difficult year for everyone but for those who lost a loved one, it was even more challenging. Late last year, I lost two women who were like second mothers to me. They were my mom’s two best friends and they had so much life left to live. Their deaths made me acutely aware that I am lucky to have my mom in my life. In 2000, she suffered a heart attack followed by a few more “spells” as she calls them. In 2019, she suffered a stroke and we moved her to Tallahassee to be closer to us. She lives in an assisted living facility and my sister and I would visit her every day. We’d take turns cleaning her room, walking out to the front porch, visiting on family nights, or just watching TV with her.

That all changed in March with the threat of COVID-19. We were not able to visit with her for three months. On Mother’s Day, we got to see her briefly during a drive-by parade. We now see her via “window visits.” But we aren’t able to hug her, visit in her room, or have her over for family dinners and holidays. The pandemic has changed everything but we are so grateful that we can call her daily and tell her how much we love her.

I celebrate my mom’s life every single day. When I wrote this piece about my mom, my heart was filled with gratitude. As we begin a New Year filled with hope, think of whose life you celebrate. We welcome you to share a story and a photo of that person in your life. #BBHCelebrateLife