My name is Abbey Clair, and I am the Executive Director for the Aroostook Hospice Foundation, owner of the Aroostook House of Comfort. I have grown accustomed to managing our social media and other publications, sharing the brave and inspiring testimonials of others who have been impacted by hospice and the Aroostook House of Comfort. Today, I come to you as a daughter and a caregiver with my own story.
In June of 2017, I was in my third trimester with my first baby and the first grandchild. It was a time of excitement and expectation. Unfortunately, that time was harshly interrupted by my father, Ken Atcheson’s colon cancer diagnosis. We took this on positively, with an understanding that it was stage one. Several months later, at the end of my maternity leave, we learned that the cancer had metastasized to his liver, resulting in a stage four diagnosis. We knew then that there would be no “cure,” but there could be time, and our time surely would not be wasted. For me, the grieving process started then, and I knew that I would not have an 80-year-old father to sit on the porch with and reminisce. That wasn’t part of the road God laid for us, and I will never have an answer to that, but just as we had to choose joy on many days, we also chose to trust in His promises.