DOUBLE YOUR IMPACT!!
Your support is more important than ever as Quiet Oaks remains committed to our mission of providing high quality, personalized care, comfort and dignity to our residents and their families in the remaining days of their lives together. In order to accomplish our mission, we need your help. We are thrilled to announce a $100,000 match made possible through the generosity of community donors; Bob and JoAnn Thueringer, Mary McCarty, Diane Wojtanowicz, Mike and Sharon Bauerly and 2 Anonymous Donors. Each dollar you give will be matched up to $100,000!
On a very chilly day – February 16, 2021 – Peggy Miller was tucked comfortably into a warm chair in front of a huge picture window. From her recliner, she laughed as her family and friends promenaded past the glass barrier, donning colorful costumes and bedecked cars bearing bright birthday messages, balloons and flowers – all things that Peggy loved.
Peggy, who was celebrating her 59th birthday at Quiet Oaks Hospice House, also knew it was probably her last birthday she’d spend on earth. She had been diagnosed in late 2020 with an aggressive form of metastatic lung cancer which quickly spread to other parts of her body. She came to Quiet Oaks in January 2021 to spend her remaining days nestled in the peaceful, wooded acres.
The COVID-friendly birthday parade was just one of the things that brought Peggy joy in those precious last days. And not only to Peggy but to those who loved her the most.
Peggy’s son, Wes, visited regularly from his home in Pine City, enjoying mother/son movie dates, painting parties and even cooking her a walleye dinner. Wes often brought his six-year-old daughter, whom Peggy called “Amiah Bear,” to create special memories for both Peggy and Amiah. One of Amiah’s visits included a princess tea party with “Gramma Bear” that included feather boas and tiaras for all the party guests.
Peggy herself chose Quiet Oaks to spend her final days. After losing her mother in April 2020, she recalled looking at Quiet Oaks as a place for her mom. Peggy’s sister, Vonda Christy, said it was where Peggy wanted to be.
“The staff were so caring,” Vonda recalled. “They knew us by name and took the time to get to know us.” Vonda said at the beginning of Peggy’s time there, the openness of the staff was difficult for her but she quickly realized it was necessary.
“The first time I met Dr. Lalley, he told Peggy that this disease was going to take her life. He was very honest with us. That was very hard to hear, but I realized that it was what I needed to hear to move forward. I think I had been in denial. That’s when the staff took me aside and said it was time to start making memories.”
Vonda, who is a morning person, often spent her breakfasts with Peggy. The two also partook in a “sister spa day” where they were pampered with relaxing facials. “When you’re going through something that difficult, it’s hard not to focus on ‘the end.’ The staff always reminded us how we could best spend the time we did have together,” Vonda said.
Peggy also enjoyed window visits (due to COVID protocols) with cousins and friends, reminiscing with her brother Greg over old photographs, munching on ultimate chocolate cheesecake made by Vonda and even enjoying a glass of homemade wine. “Peggy looked forward to those moments,” Vonda said.
And of course, Peggy had rough days. On those days, Wes and Vonda felt blessed to spend the night with Peggy, offering comfort with their presence. “It was hard to watch her in pain but it was also good to be there for her and with her,” Vonda said.
Peggy’s faith was an important part of her life and so visits from her friends, Pastor Tim Lambert and his wife Teresa from Joy Christian Center, also soothed her soul. “We’ve been friends for over 20 years,” Pastor Tim said.
“When she went to Quiet Oaks, she just thought the way she was being treated was supreme. She had nothing but compliments.”
Visiting Peggy wasn’t the first time Pastor Tim had been to Quiet Oaks. Every time he arrived there, he was impressed with not only the staff, but also the many volunteers taking care of the grounds and the home itself. “You know the saying ‘go the extra mile’? The people there go well beyond the extra mile. Everyone is just excellent in every way,” he said.
Pastor Tim said Peggy realized that and he believed it helped her, knowing her family was in good hands. “I think it was a relief for her, knowing not only was she being looked after in all the best ways but that her family was, too. Even after [she passed], we were able to stand there and pray and the staff stood right there with us. They walk you to the Nth degree to give you every possible moment you can have, every possible memory. I believe those people have an anointing to be there.”
Peggy’s earthly journey ended on March 2. Though her stay there was short, Peggy’s family feels that the staff at Quiet Oaks went out of their way to help them make every moment count. And although it’s a choice no family ever wants to have to make, it was the best decision for Peggy and her family.
“You will not regret taking your loved one to Quiet Oaks,” Vonda said. “They care for the entire family and the care for your loved one is exceptional.”
This past year, Quiet Oaks Hospice House has been full of incredible stories like this! Please consider making a donation today and
accept in advance our gratitude for your support and generosity.
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Quiet Oaks is a residential home for residents and families facing terminal illness. At Quiet Oaks, we provide an experience that honors and respects the dignity of our residents and their families by focusing on a team approach to provide comfort and support for their physical, emotional and spiritual needs. Quiet Oaks is a 501(c)(3) Tax ID 20-3905841
5537 Galaxy Road
St. Cloud, MN 56301