On August 6th, I fulfilled a goal and completed the training necessary to become a volunteer with a local hospice. I guess you might say I fulfilled a “bucket list” item, but I prefer to think of it as answering a call. I was first trained as a hospice volunteer in college, while working towards my psychology degree. Little did I know that just about 20 years later, my own husband would spend his final 12 days under hospice care with me as his caregiver. I was given a somewhat unique, dual-sided view of this process, not unlike my experience with cancer. I found a hospice that allows me the freedom to visit with my assigned patient(s) on my own schedule. This past Thursday, I met and spent time with my first two patients-one male, age 91 and a female, age 88. They both suffer from dementia and reside in the same nursing home. My job is to provide companionship, emotional support and socialization to each of them. I intend to document all of my visits in a new journal that I started. I hope to capture the essence of our visits, which will help me to remember them and their impact on me long after they have gone. I can only imagine what lessons I will learn from each patient I am assigned. Ultimately, they will give me so much more than I can possibly give them. I am grateful that I was given this opportunity, and look forward to meeting each and every person that may come my way. I know that it will prove to be a life-altering experience.