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A Legacy of Love

CR Carmela and kidsby Sherry Ainsworth

My heart broke when my best friend, Carmela, had to tell her children, ages 6 and 9, that mommy had breast cancer. They couldn’t really grasp the full extent of what that could possibly mean for their young lives. They quickly found out that it meant mom was sick a lot of the time, she would soon forget to wear her wig or even grab a ball cap, but she was doing her best to keep life as normal as she possibly could.

She kept up this battle for six years, almost continually fighting the dreaded disease. I tried to be there as often as I possibly could to help out and be there for her children. Even though they lived thousands of miles away in California, I wanted to try and keep some sense of hope and normalcy in their young lives.

After she died, I realized that I wanted to do something to honor her memory here in Kansas City…where we grew up together. I found Solace House and it was a perfect match. I have been volunteering there with children for 15 years. My time with the kids at Solace House fills my heart and I know makes a difference for them. We share the grief journey together and find a way to move forward while honoring their memories of their loved ones.

I had the distinct pleasure this past Fall of being there for the weddings of both of Carmela’s children. We shared a lot of tears and memories and know that she was there with us to watch her beautiful children take the next step in their lives.

Being there for her two children has been the most important thing I feel I have ever done….I was honored to share stories of growing up with their mother and help them remember who she was and will hopefully continue to do that with their children at some point in the future! And my time with the kids at Solace House continues to honor them all.

I am also pleased that her memory will live on through my Legacy gift to KC Hospice & Palliative Care and Solace House. By making a gift in my will, I know that Carmela’s life will be honored by helping future generations. 

To learn more about Legacy gifts, please call Mary Zahner Bauer at(816) 363-2600.


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