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Symbols of hope

June 5, 2018 GMT

The PEO Home in downtown Beatrice hosted “A Butterfly to Remember” memorial event, Saturday morning.

“What a great day God has made for us in this place” Sharon Schuster, AseraCare Hospice Spiritual and Bereavement Coordinator, said as she greeted guests.

AseraCare staff, volunteers, PEO Home residents and families gathered under the large trees, among the blooming flowers with a cool breeze, Saturday. Tables were decorated with baskets of flowers, butterfly rocks and forget-me-not seeds embedded on butterfly shaped papers.

Chris Harvey, director of the Beatrice AseraCare, thanked everyone for attending and for “sharing your loved ones with us.”

“We are people of promise,” said Doyle Karst, Asera Care chaplain. “It is an important biblical promise that we will be reunited in eternity with our loved ones.”

Schuster shared “Wings of Hope” and noted that “We are here to honor those who have gone ahead of us. We have been given gifts of love, hope and faith that can never be taken. We are here to share in the gift of hope.”

“Butterflies signify new life and hope” she added.

100 Painted Lady butterflies were released in the garden along with 50 balloons.

“Look up and remember your loved one,” said Schuster, as the butterflies were released.

Lori Stanley, AseraCare Hospice Provider Relations manager, said when they began to consider a space to hold the event several months ago, they immediately thought about the PEO and “their beautiful garden.”

Schuster noted that they have served residents at the PEO in the past.

“We are always greeted with grace and mercy as we enter their home,” she said.

“Our staff is amazing and the women who live here are a family,” said Shari Little, administrator of the PEO Home. “It doesn’t feel like I’m coming to work.”

Shirley Johnston joined the PEO Home family in August 2015. Since arriving, Shirley has continued her hobby of gardening, especially flowers. She has planted hundreds of tulip and daffodil bulbs, peony plants and roses. Johnston has spent hours dividing plants and weeding in the garden.

Schuster said AseraCare has six grief support groups that meet once a month in the seven counties the organization serves.

“The groups have new members all of the time” she said.

Stanley explained that the “Butterfly to Remember” event is another way they reconnect with families after the passing of their family member.

“We miss seeing them” Stanley said.