I stopped by Hospice of the Comforter on Tuesday afternoon for a final interview with my volunteer coordinator. This is where we finished crossing all the t's and dotting all the i's for my file and talked more about how the formal process of volunteering works. It was a great meeting, but let me tell you about something funny that happened at the beginning and how it put a big, huge smile on my face for the rest of the day by the time I left.
When my coordinator came out to meet me in the lobby, I was chatting with one of the nurses I had met the night before on our final night of training. The three of us continued chatting for a moment, and I expressed how excited I was to get started. Then my coordinator said, "And then you've got your blog! That was so exciting!"
I was really surprised to have my blog come up. How had she heard about it? And what did the reference to it being so exciting mean? My mind went back to the previous evening, when I had typed up my previous post that mentioned just having finished my training and how much I had been blessed by the experience. My mind also went to the other, more personal post I had written about my grandmother a couple weeks ago when the training started. Was she referring to one of those? And again, how did she find out about it?
As she and I walked up to her office, I asked more about the situation. I slowly began to piece together that a lot of people at Hospice of the Comforter had visited my blog that morning. My coordinator had gotten the word from the volunteer recruiter, and then had passed it on to her husband, who also works for the organization. He had passed it along to other people in the development and communications departments, and before I knew it, she was telling me that the PR department wanted to talk to me about doing a special blog on my volunteer experiences!
All of this came down on me in a dazy haze. It felt really good, but it was so surprising that it also felt kind of numbing. But when we got into the conference room and we opened up my file, there was a printout of my blog sitting there, my little profile pic staring up at me and the "Lilies Have Dreams" banner at the top looking oh-so-familiar. Again, this felt so surreal.
At the end of my interview, my coordinator offered to bring in the girl from PR (whom I had met at one of the training meetings previously and really liked) to talk more about the volunteer blog. It wasn't clear to me whether they were wanting me to consider occasionally posting stories about my experiences here on Lilies Have Dreams or to start a completely new blog specifically tailored to that experience.
I found out it was the second option. They want me to consider starting a blog about my volunteering experiences (keeping patient information private under HIPPA laws, of course) and also the stories of other volunteers that I may meet out in the field. What's more, they want to also talk about how to possibly link that blog to their website so that anyone visiting their website for information can then click on my blog and learn firsthand from an unbiased perspective what hospice in general and Hospice of the Comforter in particular is all about, complete with the honest highs and lows and learning curves and all the sundry emotions that a patient or caregiver or friend or volunteer would experience if hospice became a part of their life.
This was such a strange, strange turn of events for me for a number of reasons, but also so surprising in a very good way. It feels wonderful to be asked to write about the stories I encounter, the ways they make me feel, the things I learn, the amazing people I meet, the beautiful patients and families I serve, and to be asked to do so because I love to write stories and write them well and because God has gifted me with the ability to do that.
So, please join me in celebrating this good news. I look forward to sharing more with you about it as this project gets underway!