Crossroads' Gift of a Day Brings Joy To Marymount Place Resident
Riding horses in her younger days was a leisure activity that Eileen Salem enjoyed for years. A black-and-white picture of Mrs. Salem in an English-style riding outfit adorns a wall in her Marymount Place apartment in Garfield Heights.
For years Mrs. Salem, an avid animal lover, has longed to interact with a horse once again. On November 3, Eileen did just that – thanks to a special visit from Supreme Tsamaz, Tsammie for short, a 12-year-old, three-quarter Arabian mare.
Tsammie’s visit was made possible thanks to Crossroads Hospice’s “Ultimate Wish” program. Tsammie is owned by Diane Jones, whose family owns and operates Windt Im Wald in Geauga County’s Auburn Township.
“Our Gift of a Day program was inspired by Jim Stovall’s novel The Ultimate Gift,” said Melissa Loesch, a social worker at Crossroads Hospice. “The book inspired us to think about hospice differently. Hospice removes the negatives — the pain, the spiritual burdens, the financial burdens, the guilt.
“Through the unique Gift of a Day, Gift to the Community, and Gift of Blessings and Gratitude programs, Crossroads staff members and volunteers work to create a perfect day for each patient.”
Loesch added that Mrs. Salem is such a sweet lady and she enjoyed interacting with a horse again. “I’m sure the connection to her past brought out good memories associated with positive feelings.”
Marymount Place Administrator Peggy Mathews said her staff was equally touched by the way Mrs. Salem seemed to bond with the Tsammie.
“To see the look of joy on Eileen’s face while she interacted with Tsammie was priceless,” Mathews said. “The visit was truly a gift that she appreciated.”