Hospice honors clients with colorful umbrellas
BOB SLOAN Editor
With temperatures nearing 90 degrees on a sunny Thursday afternoon, the front lawn of the Agapé Hospice office on Palmetto Street was covered with dozens of brightly colored umbrellas.
Each of the umbrellas represented an Agapé Hospice patient who passed away between November of last year and April. Close to a third of the umbrellas, signifying a military veteran, were a patriotic red, white and blue.
The umbrellas are part of what is called a “Life Blooms Eternally” celebration of life. The celebration was inspired by an artist’s display in New York City’s Central Park following the Sept. 11, 2001 World Trade Center attack. The artist painted umbrellas as a visual representation of the staggering number of lives lost during the attack.
At noon Thursday, family members and friends gathered near the umbrellas for a memorial service where the patient and life was recognized with a reading of their name and the toll of a bell.
Agapé Senior Hospice first celebrated “Life Blooms Eternally” in 2010 at Winthrop Lake in Rock Hill.
The celebration expanded to Columbia and other areas of the state in 2012.
According to Carly Yaken, director of operations for the Agapé Hospice office on Palmetto, the celebration is usually held in November in recognition of National Hospice Awareness Month. Yaken said this is the first year the celebration has been held in late Spring, early Summer.
Agapé Hospice hosted a Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours event later that evening.