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The Impact You Can Make

It is our privilege to create healing spaces for all the moments, big and small, that are a part of this important time in an individual and family’s life. Carol Mensinger and Angie Crabtree share their families’ journey with Caring Circle and Lory’s Place.

Carol and husband

Carol Mensinger shares her story

Our mom, Janice Mensinger, was first diagnosed with congestive heart disease at age 77. After three hospital stays and a final diagnosis that her heart had declined drastically, our family met with the palliative care team. It became clear that it was hospice care that mom needed, and we made the arrangements with Caring Circle to move her home. 

I don’t really think mom knew how quickly she would deteriorate. As her family, we certainly did not. We all took turns caring for her, day and night.

Our social worker, Amanda, realized the exhaustion and stress our fear for mom’s safety was having on us. I will never forget how wonderful she was when telling us about the Merlin and Carolyn Hanson Hospice Center and explaining that we could now just be mom’s family.

Butterfly room number two at the Hanson Hospice Center became our new home with mom. We slept with her in her private room, ate with her, and listened to Cubs games on the radio. We talked, prayed, and shared feelings, memories, laughter, and tears.

As much planning as mom and our family did, we were overwhelmed and financially unprepared. The reality of our family’s situation, I am sure, is one that is not uncommon to many families. When all other avenues failed, we received a phone call letting us know that our mom qualified for financial assistance through the benevolent care fund. 

Mom passed away at the Hanson Hospice Center on a beautiful, sunny Sunday morning. Our family surrounded her, held her hands, and kissed her forehead as she let out her last breath with such a look of peace on her face. Our family will be forever grateful to the Hanson Hospice Center and the wonderful staff who cared for mom day and night. Without a place like this I don’t know how we would’ve been able provide the quality of life mom was able to have while making all the memories we did in the final months. There are just no words to adequately say thank you!

Hear more from the Mensinger family–click here.


Crabtree childrenAngela Crabtree shares her story

January 2014. The words…sister…accidental overdose…gone…

The words burned a hole in my heart. Can’t breathe...stunned...reeling. Can life go on without Cassie?

It did, though it was never the same. My sister’s death was totally unexpected. Two little boys no longer had their momma. The stigma of an overdose shrouded our grief. My two boys became four boys as Cassie’s sons blended into our family. All my children were heavy with grief. We were dealing, coping, moving through the day, but not thriving.

I knew about the grief work that Lory’s Place offered for kids, so we began attending group nights. My sons were on a healing journey and I was determined to do anything in my power to get the help they needed. Until the car wouldn’t start. It was a group night and unfortunately, we were not going anywhere. My husband counseled me that the boys would be okay missing one week–but would I? If this program didn’t exist, I’m not sure how I would’ve helped my boys through such a traumatic loss. This was also my first glimpse at realizing I had work to do in dealing with my own personal grief.

Without the tools we learned from the Lory’s Place team, I don’t know what we would have done after
Cassie’s death. We are now able to talk, smile, laugh and share memories about Cassie. Lory’s Place
has helped my entire family and they’re simply amazing!

Our family has embraced our new normal and true healing is taking place. Thank you Lory’s Place!

Hear more from Angie and her sons–click here.

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