With a smile as bright as Tuesday’s sunny skies, a hospice patient’s face lit up as she saw a horse carriage waiting for her at Liberty Park.
As Merri Scholbohm stroked the faces of Red and Ted, two Halflinger draft horses owned by Everett and Brenda Bohon of Cole Camp, she couldn’t contain her happiness. Schlobohm was granted a Gift of a Day through the Crossroads Hospice program.
Schlobohm, who enjoys giving hugs to others, said the weather turned out beautiful for the ride and she was excited.
“This is my day with my family and my friends,” she said as she stood beside the horses. “I love being here with all of hospice, they’ve taken good care of me.”
Pam Burnham, Crossroads Gift of a Day coordinator, of Independence, said Jessica Buesing, owner of The Scarlett Lens Photography, obtained the horse and carriage for the event. She said the program gives the “ultimate gift” to those in end-of-life care.
“The Gift of a Day was created because our owner read the book ‘The Ultimate Gift,’ by Jim Stovall,” Burnham said. “In it, they talk about what would be a perfect day.”
A perfect day can vary from person to person, from age to age, especially if one is faced with a terminal illness.
“So, we try to create the perfect day for them,” Burnham said.
Schlobohm’s perfect day on Tuesday was spending time with her family — husband Charles Schlobohm, son Charles Schlobohm, daughter Merri Plue, and brother Allen Hawkins. The family had lunch together at a local restaurant and then arrived for a carriage ride around Liberty Park.
“She’s only been on a horse two or three times in her life, she just loves horses,” Burnham said. “She’s never owned one, but she just loves them.”
Burnham said Crossroads gives a Gift of a Day to as many as eight to 20 people a month in the service area of Warrensburg, Sedalia, Independence and Gladstone.
Burnham added it’s the little things that matter to end-of-life patients.
The Bohons said they were honored to bring their horses and 130-year-old English carriage for Schlobohm to ride.
“It’s hard to put into words,” Everett said. “To do something for someone else is the right thing to do.”
“It’s carrying on God’s message to us,” Brenda added. “We are to help others, it’s an honor.”
“How could we say ‘no,’” Everett said.
For more information about Gift of a Day, call 816-333-9200.