Updated: Mar 25, 2022
Hospice Women of Philanthropy is a group of Inspiring Women Inspiring Lives and spreading kindness for 10 years in the Tampa Bay area. Since 2012, this organization has funded 47 projects totaling over $600,000 dollars and positively affected the lives of LifePath Hospice patients, families and grieving hearts by providing comfort.
This Spring Soiree was held at the Vaughn Center, at the University of Tampa, as a Bursting with Hope Sponsor and I am grateful to have attended as a guest of Renee Vaughn.
Being at the Soiree stirred up emotional feelings on several levels. Hospice played an important role in the last 10 days of my husband's life and was a great comfort for me. My father also was cared for by Hospice for the last few days of his life, around Christmas 2 years ago. That Hospice facility allowed my siblings and mother to spend that time surrounding my dad in a large comfortable room, during a difficult holiday season.
Listening to Mitch Albom, as the featured speaker to a packed room of 300 guests for lunch, was very inspiring. He has been one of my favorite Authors, having read many of his books.
Most people know him for his breakout best seller, "Tuesday's with Morrie;" which he explained during his talk, was only supposed to be a small book to gain enough money from a Publisher to pay Morrie's medical bills after he passed away. It was important to Morrie that his family not be burdened with the debt and Mitch wanted to make that happen.
Mitch never expected the book to be a best seller, as one person passed it along to another person, and others shared the inspiring book with their friends through word of mouth, until it just took off.
While that book is an endearing story, his other fictional books such as "The Five People You Meet in Heaven," "The First Phone Call from Heaven," "For One More Day," and "The Next Person You Meet in Heaven," are inspiring stories that take the reader on a journey questioning life after death and how our loved ones are on the other side.
Mitch shared his heartwarming experiences with us about his time spent with Morrie, about a young girl named Chika who lived in a Haiti Orphanage and later made a huge impact on his life, and the reasons why he wrote his latest book "The Stranger in a lifeboat."
In this book, he questions divine intervention and the premise of "What would we do if we cried out to God for help and someone claiming to be God actually appeared before us?"
Mitch Albom does a great job of weaving a story around spiritual issues that many of us contemplate, wonder and may have even prayed about. He creates a reality that we can see and relate to. Which is probably why Hospice Women of Philanthropy invited him to be the featured speaker.
I'm glad I hadn't read this book yet, as each attendee received a copy and I was lucky enough to chat with him for a few moments as he signed my copy.
Hearing how God has answered his prayers over the years and how they may not have been answered in the way he expected, or in the time frame he wanted, but they were answered. Those thoughts had me contemplating my life as I left the University of Tampa that afternoon.