Friday, December 6, 2019


On our way home from Walmart one afternoon, I saw one of those small buses with a big graphic on the side: Hospice Light.

In Mother’s last few months, our experience with a hospice nurse was a blessing to her and our whole extended family. 

That wonderful nurse brought meticulous care and easing of pain--both physical and emotional. She also had a comforting way of preparing Mother, me, and my out-of-town brother for what to expect. 

Up to the day before she died, Mother was conscious, coherent and so grateful for her nurse. 

That experience made the “Hospice Light” sign disconcerting. My initial reaction was interpreting it as Hospice Lite. What did that mean? Did that mean it offered limited-service care for a reduced rate? 

Or did inclusion of “Light” indicate a spiritual element of care? But I couldn’t fathom anyone choosing such an ambiguous title for any end-of-life service.

I saw the name again on a building near the hospital. Evidently the building was an administrative site for Hospice Light. What an insensitive and confusing choice for a name! 

My irritation ratcheted up another notch.

When I passed a brochure rack in the hall outside my neuro-rehab gym a day or two later, one brochure leaped out at me. I grabbed it with a sigh of relief. No insensitive choices by anyone. Just my not-quite-stellar eye-sight.

The name on the brochure that I could now see clearly was "Hospice of Light."

The next time I saw that bus, my brain processed the essential but hard to see “of” among flowing "artsy" letters. Mystery solved. Irritation banished.

I have to confess; my strong reaction in part stemmed from my years shepherding projects from idea to completion. That usually involved copy editing. I was, and am, obsessive about editing. 

I am so glad that obsession didn’t lead to my whipping out a red marker that day, chasing down the bus and attempting to edit the logo.

It was a near call, though. Fortunately I didn’t own a red marker big enough to edit that van-sized logo.


  1. One little word can make all the difference. Note to myself, one little word that crosses my lips can also make a huge difference for either good or bad.

  2. one word or one misspelled word can really change the meaning of the word or words... glad you found the answer before we had to set up a go fund me for your bail money. 😜 sometimes when I read to quickly, I think what? I change the word to what I think it says and go back and think OH... also I have noticed a lot of signs are hard to read, both on signs, walls or vehicles. any sign that can't be instantly read in traffic does no good.

  3. Things like this can irritate me too. We had Hospice for my Mom as well. In a way, they are a light in a very dark time. These nurses just KNOW things that regular health workers do not!

  4. Oh, gosh, this reminds me of me, and also was it Roseanne Roseannadanna on Saturday Night Live that used to get all whacked out about something only to realize she had not understood and she would say Never when I go off on a rant about something and realize I am wrong, I put on an even more nasally voice and says 'Never Mind'

  5. Can understand your initial irritation. That one little word really made a difference.

  6. My Grandmother was in a Hospice facility and those nurses and workers are incredibly kind and compassionate. I guess I would have taken the sign to mean the light at the end of their life. Even though it would have been a strange way of saying it, the 'OF' makes better sense. It's amazing how our brains can fill in words for us or trick us just the same. I'm glad the bus didn't have to suffer the wrath of a huge red marker!
    Have a wonderful Weekend!!

  7. i am glad that the sign was not what you thought it was. Our eyes play tricks on us, but the graphics in advertisements are often not clear.

  8. Yes, I'm with the rest of the commenters...I misread things all the time.
    It's gotten me into trouble too. Assumptions can be dangerous.
    So glad the bus was spared your RED pen..(:0)
    I so admire those people that are Hospice Angels.
    They truly are Light to the hurting.

  9. I just read your comment on my blog post.
    I am thrilled.
    What amazing progress.
    I have slipped a little and now have to get really serious about my food intake. I never want to go back to where I was before.
    I'm so glad I could help.

  10. Christmas is a really difficult time to stay focused on the diet journey.
    I sure am bouncing around...sometimes my self control goes out the window as a bagel or something gooey is wafting under my nose...Too many days of parties and being too tired (from a lot of decorating and running around) so we go out to eat...Bad idea!!
    Now to explain my cemetery photo.
    No, Amanda didn't take it but she could have. We take soooo many photos of the National Cemetery at the Presidio of San Francisco.
    Last year the cemetery did a major over-haul of the and propping up those that had fallen. The National Cemetery is on the cliffs right above the Golden Gate Bridge. Salt air and foggy drizzle do major damage to everything.
    The reason we go there often is our connection to it.
    Dave's parents are buried there, hence our Grandkids Great Grandparents..
    Family history 101.

  11. Hello,
    This morning I hopped over to my old blog in search of an old picture, and noticed (in the side bar) that you've been posting again. I couldn't help but hop over to read what you've been up to.
    I scrolled down and saw the post about your rollator. I, too, became the owner of a shiny red rollator back in September, when my back "went out" for the 4th time, this year. That rollator was my "best friend" for well-over a month, and I still keep her in the back of the van for emergencies. (mine has a feature that also turns it into a wheelchair) I never thought to give my rollator a name, but I kind of like the idea :)
    I hope you and Walter have a very Merry Christmas! Maybe I'll get inspired to blog again, after the first of the year.