Last updated: September 25. 2013 9:14PM - 3184 Views
Iris Hunter Richmond County Daily Journal

Iris Hunter | Daily JournalThree friends stroll along the A Walk To Remember trail as they chat among one another.
Iris Hunter | Daily JournalThree friends stroll along the A Walk To Remember trail as they chat among one another.
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Do you need a quiet place to relax? If so, take a stroll down the A Walk To Remember trail at Richmond County Hospice in Hamlet.

The first phase of the project has been completed and the community is welcome to come and enjoy walking the trail.

There have been more decorations added to the pathway, including a birdhouse and a picnic table, more chairs for the porch, bronze benches along the trail and under the pergola as well as flowers spread out throughout the pathway. These things were added to the trail to enhance the peaceful environment that many come in search of when visiting.

The trail was created in memory of Officer S. Bayne McLester. “Her parents donated the funding to make the garden and pathway possible,” said Mary Ellen Shea, executive director.

A private dedication was given on Sunday in remembrance of McLester.

“It was a celebration of her family remembering her every year,” said Kristina Leyden, director of family services.

During the dedication, Leyden released 36 Monarch butterflies since they are a symbol of new life, change and a new beginning.

The trail was not created only for patients. It was also built for staff members and individuals from the community who wanted to visit a peaceful place where they could reminisce and share stories with family and friends.

Families have already had difficult and important conversations here, including discussing their end-of life-care plans, said Shea.

Shea has already been given some great feedback from those in the community. A guest at the dedication said that this trail was an asset to the community, she said.

Three friends have already experienced using the walking trail and have enjoyed the addition to the community.

Judith Gibson, said that her and her friends, Nancy Daugherty and Carol Martin enjoyed walking along the trail as well as sitting on the porch. They used the time simply to enjoy each other’s fellowship.

“We sat in the rocking chairs for at least an hour talking about family and friends,” she said.

Martin said that the scene of the walking trail reminded her of being up in the mountains in a little cabin since it was so peaceful.

Daugherty said that the scene immediately takes you to a different place and it is almost magical, due to the relaxing and peaceful environment.

Hospice officials promise more magic in the weeks to come. In the project’s second phase, new additions will include memorial garden dedicated to veterans and an increase in the number of picnic tables in order to serve large families or groups.

Shea stated that on Oct. 17, Hospice will be introducing the second phase of the trail during the Chamber After Hours event.

Donations can be made to memorialize or honor a loved one and can include various things, including plants, shrubs or trees. In addition, you can also personalize your contribution as well as make a monetary donation.

If you would like to contribute to this project, contact Shea at 910-997-4464.

The mission of Richmond County Hospice is to comfort the body and heal the heart through compassionate, quality care during end-of-life experiences, so patients and families may live each day with peace, comfort and dignity. It is located at 1119 U.S. Hwy. 1, Rockingham.

If you would like to learn more about Richmond County Hospice visit http://mpweb.org/hospice/.

— Staff Writer Iris Hunter can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at ihunter@civitasmedia.com.

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