Thank you for loving care of loved one

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 26, 2006

To the Editor:

We write to thank the entire Selma community. Last June, Clay and Betty Slate needed to move into an assisted living facility. Picking from several, including those in our hometown Anniston, Clay and Betty chose the Cedar Hill facility at Vaughan Place in Selma. They lived there for the last 10 weeks of Betty’s life.

We could not have selected a finer institution and community.

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In large part, we came here because this is the hometown of Mrs. Gerald Mange (Jill), Betty’s daughter and loving caretaker for her last two years of life. Guided by Jill, we found ourselves gathered in the loving arms of three groups of skilled and caring women. First there were the tireless and hard-working women at Cedar Hill -the food, the cleaning, and the personal care that they provided always met an exacting standard. We found security having someone with us around the clock.

After a few weeks, as Betty’s health worsened, we brought in sitters to be with her. The thoughtful, gentle, and patient way that these fine women came among our family will never be forgotten. Their sweet and soothing voices and their kind and strong hands were a large part of what Betty heard and felt in her last weeks.

The last three weeks, we had the great good fortune of finding Cahaba Hospice. The end of life of our wife and mother was confusing and painful, and the expertise and thoroughness of these women was a profound blessing. They controlled pain, counseled us, and, above all, loved Betty as well as humans can.

There was a great strength inherent in the fact that these women knew and understood each other, as they supported, encouraged, and taught us and each other. When Betty breathed her last, in the early hours of Sept. 8, it was with a solid wisdom and peace that Elizabeth told us it was over, and quietly guided us along.

Selma has much to be proud of in the community of women it nurtures. We met many other Selma citizens at the First United Methodist Church and at Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church, and thus understand how their warmth makes this possible. We thank you for accepting us in.

Clay Slate Sr.

Clay Slate Jr.