Throughout our lives we each find our own unique activities that bring us joy and purpose. These activities can amplify our happiness during the good times, serve as a refuge in times of trouble, and bring us the peace and serenity needed to work through life’s challenges. For many, one such activity is fishing. The quiet of an early morning on the lake, the patience and concentration that can easily shift into a time of contemplation and reflection, and the satisfaction when all that culminates into a beautiful catch can be restoring for the mind, body, and spirit.
Maurice Sockness is an avid fisherman who spent many days with friends on the waters of Lake Michigan. As his health declined and getting around became more difficult, Maurice had to put his beloved pastime aside to focus on meeting his changing physical needs. Now, being faced with significant health issues, Maurice has the ability to focus on what he wants his days to look like and what quality of life means to him. At the top of his list was the desire to be out on the water one more time – he just needed a boat and someone to take him out.
Maurice had a strong desire to go fishing, but knew that he would need help and didn’t want to make work for others. Determined to remain independent, he didn’t realize the support that eagerly surrounded him. Maurice enlisted the help of his hospice social worker, Vivine. She helped coordinate support for Maurice from hospice volunteer, Alison Bossler who has a boat, hospice nurse Angie, and home Hospice Aide Latonia. On a beautiful day in July, Maurice was once again able to be out on the water. “It was such a beautiful day,” he said. “The fresh air felt so amazing that I didn’t even care if I caught any fish.” Taking time to visit on the boat, as he soaked up the sunshine, enjoyed the view of the water, and spent the day fishing was the best medicine Maurice could have received.