BYRON CENTER, MICH. - Valentine's Day is tomorrow, but a large group of people in West Michigan received a special valentine's delivery today.
Patients at the Holland Homes inpatient Hospice Facility Trillium, which is located in Byron Center, were each hand-delivered a box of heart-shaped chocolates from facility volunteers Tuesday, Feb. 13.
The gift was meant to be a surprise. The patients enjoyed the attention and the thoughtfulness behind the gesture.
For many of the recipients, this will likely be their last Valentine's Day, so receiving this gift was special for them.
"There's over 240 patients in our community that are on Faith Hospice care," said Cheryl Brink, volunteer coordinator for Faith Hospice. "This is a way to show our patients that we care for them and that they are loved."
One of the inpatients is Esther Middlewood, who has been a resident at the facility for less than a month.
"I've been here since the 25th of January," said Middlewood, who is in failing health due to diabetes.
When a volunteer walked into her room and presented her with a heart-shaped box of Valentine's Day chocolates, Esther's eyes lit up and a huge smile stretched across her face.
"I'm dying," said Middlewood. "My doctor told me that I don't have to worry about my diabetic diet anymore, so I can have chocolate.
"I no longer have to worry about ten years down the road anymore."
Despite knowing that she's approaching end-of-life, Middlewood didn't hide her sense of humor.
"Everybody knows that chocolate is part of a woman's basic food group," said Middlewood, jokingly. "When you deprive [a woman] of chocolate, that's sad."
Middlewood said when the TV cameras left her room, she was going to open the box of chocolates and dig around until she found a caramel one.
Twenty volunteers spent the day delivering more than 240 of the heart-shaped boxes of chocolates to every patient in their care, including the ones who are convalescing at home.
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