Cancer sucks. Pardon my French, but it just does. We've all either been touched by it in our lives at some point or lost someone or far too many someones to it. For me, that includes my mother. Here in Eastern Iowa, I can tell you there is no better place for that person to live out their last days with the best care possible than at Dennis & Donna Oldorf Hospice House of Mercy in Hiawatha. The "good" news in our family's case 11 years ago was that what we thought was going to be a three-day stay for her end-of-life care turned into three months, as she kept fighting, thanks in part to the care they gave her.

The folks at Oldorf never forget your loved one either. Every year, they have a special ceremony commemorating those that were in their care with the "Love Lights" celebration.

This year's ceremony takes place Monday, December 6 at Dennis & Donna Oldorf Hospice House, 315 18th Avenue in Hiawatha, at 5 p.m.

I can't describe how meaningful this ceremony is so I will quote the Cedar Rapids Gazette

Each light on the holiday tree signifies a gracious gift of support in honor of a loved one, helping Hospice of Mercy to serve patients on their final journeys, as well as their family members.

This facility and its staff are the light in the lives of cancer patients and their families. To those facing a difficult loss to this debilitating and all too often fatal disease, I want to say this. It's impossibly hard when you're fresh off the loss, and especially around this time, and it never gets easy. But it gets easier. I promise. Know that my thoughts are with you and your loved ones.

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