Tuesday, October 29 2013, 10:40 AM EDT
Elise Bailey - Helping Families Say Goodbye
When someone we love reaches the end of life's journey the grief and anxiety can feel overwhelming.
Hospice workers provide comfort, support and spiritual solace -- helping families find peace as they say their final good-byes.
This week's 'Pay it Forward' begins outside Hearth Hospice in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia.
Two sisters are honoring a special caregiver whose compassion for her patients has created an unbreakable bond.
For sisters Jackie Mathis and Jan Jones losing both parents was eased only by the soothing calm of hospice nurse Elise Bailey.
Jackie can hardly hold back her tears as she describes the impact that Elise had on her family's life.
"She made the end of mother's life a beautiful thing. It was absolutely beautiful," Jackie says.
Those final moments for their terminal mother are now cherished memories.
Jackie tearfully recalls, "She (Elise) held me, Jan, Donna and Cathy together through the last few hours with mother laying there dying. We stood at the foot of mother's bed, sang 'Will the Circle be Unbroken' and mother left with a smile on her face because of this lady."
Elise waits inside and has no idea these sisters have planned an unforgettable 'Pay it Forward' surprise.
Elise can hardly believe her eyes when we pour into the office.
With Jan by Jackie's side Jackie says, "We've come to tell you how much you mean to us and how much it meant to us for you to be there with our mom and send her to the good Lord in such a beautiful way... On behalf of McMahan Law Firm and NewsChannel 9 I want to present you 'Pay it Forward' and I want to present you with this $500. (Here's) $100, $200, $300, $400, $500, and thank you for being such a beautiful woman!"
Elise cannot choke back her tears of joy and points up saying, "I want to say one thing. Anything I've done, the glory goes back to Him."
She tells me that her decades of service was an answer to a Higher calling, after caring for her own dying parents -- and over the years families like Jackie's and Jan's who have followed.
The sisters and Elise share a sweet embrace and almost in harmony say, "There is a bond that will never be broken."
By the way, Elise not only cared for Jackie and Jan's dying mother, but Elise also helped comfort the grieving family when their father passed away several years before.