A Life Fully Lived

Mar 21, 2018

After many years in their own home, it became apparent that Ann Bohn and her husband both needed more assistance due to serious health issues. Ann entered the Kline House and Joe became a resident patient at the Martinsburg VA Medical Center in West Virginia.

Ann understood that they would never be together again—either in their own home or anywhere else. She called Joe each day, and they talked and worried about each other.

At the Kline House, the Hospice staff worked hard to make Ann feel at home and comfortable. Since her husband had been a great cook, Ann focused on meals. She checked the refrigerator each morning and had her daughter bring a copy of The Joy of Cooking to get suggestions for the staff.

Even though Ann knew she had a terminal diagnosis and wouldn’t leave the Kline House, she lived each day as if there would be many more.

  • At five o’clock every afternoon, she had a glass of wine or champagne—celebrating happy hour before dinner
  • She ordered nightgowns and slippers from catalogs
  • She had an audiologist come and test for improved hearing aids
  • She had a prescription filled for new eyeglasses

Each day was a bittersweet adventure for Ann.

Then came a much anticipated day. Hospice volunteers took Ann to visit her beloved Joe. Once there, she greeted the nurses she had talked with each day when calling him, and then Joe came around the corner holding a large bouquet of flowers. There were tears all around as a joyful reunion took place. Joe talked about his military service, and both reminisced about their travels, family, cooking, and life together.

For days, Ann talked about this trip, calling it “a superb day.”

Joe’s flowers lasted for almost two weeks and were a source of pleasure for Ann and the staff. Ann had one more chance to see Joe, when her daughter and grandchildren brought him for a visit to the Kline House the day after Thanksgiving.

Ann died peacefully with her family by her side. She made an impact on all those who came to know her over the last several months of her life.

She lived fully and found enjoyment in life, even though she knew the time was short.

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