“You get a lot more than what you give,” said Hospice Compassus volunteer Brenda Allison.
Allison, a resident of Pine for the last four years, joined the special group of people who volunteer with Hospice a little more than a year ago. Most become volunteers to provide comfort to those in the last stage of life.
Allison retired from 26 years in real estate sales in June 2009 and became a volunteer with Hospice to give back to the community. A friend in her hiking group was involved and told her about the work, thinking she would enjoy it.
“A lot don’t realize how much you get,” Allison said.
She currently is visiting Phyllis Bloodworth of Payson. They have been together for about the last eight months.
“I don’t know how much I give, but everyone I’ve met through Hospice is absolutely amazing,” Bloodworth said. “They have a real gem in Pastor Charlie (Wilcox) and the nurses do so much more (than just providing medical care). They are making dying easy and make it as comfortable as possible.”
During their time together, Allison and Bloodworth read Daily Guideposts inspirational essays, talk about all kinds of topics, laugh a lot and enjoy each other’s company.
“Phyllis is a delight,” Allison said. “We share lots of interests and can talk for hours.”
Another project Allison enjoys with Bloodworth is helping her rearrange the furniture.
Bloodworth worked as a caterer before retiring, so she also shares recipes with Allison, who then makes the dish and brings it back for them to enjoy together.
Bloodworth has made her home in Payson for about seven years and says she absolutely loves it here. Her husband, Brad, works part time for Home Depot.
“I have a fabulous husband who does everything — all the things I did he’s doing and not griping,” Bloodworth said.
Bloodworth is originally from Michigan, but when her sons were serving with the U.S. Marine Corps, they were both stationed in Yuma — one made his home there and the other moved up to Idaho. They brought her to Arizona and a 30-day Harley trip brought her to Payson after she had heard about it from her son in Idaho — he had worked a fire in the area and told her about it.
“We compared lots of places and it always came back to Payson, so we decided this was where we were supposed to be,” she said.
Bloodworth has five children and 11 grandchildren, ranging in age from 10 months to 22 years. The closest of her children is the son who lives in Yuma, so most of the people she sees are from Hospice.
Allison was coming to see her five days a week, but with the addition of caregiver Dee Redfield to Bloodworth’s team, who comes twice a week, the volunteer now visits three days a week.
“When you’re terminal, you can make the most of it or sit and waste. I want to make the most of it. I try to make the best of a bad situation,” Bloodworth said.
“And she does a very good job of it,” Allison added.
Bloodworth said Hospice gives her a very peaceful sense with its people being here and caring.
“It’s a special group of people. They give so willingly and make people as comfortable as possible. I’d hate to think of someone going through this alone or with people not as caring as Hospice people are,” Bloodworth said.
“You get a lot more than what you give… they become (like) an extended family,” Allison said.