What a wonderful blessing that I was able to do a Christmas show with some of my family today!
My older brother Daniel, my youngest brother Douglas and his wife Jane and daughter Jennifer, my daughter Rachel and her spouse Donny Edwards, and my lady Sheila joined me in studio for what turned out to be lots of laughs and hugs. And Smoky, Rachel and Donny’s dog was with us as well. Emily Garcia worked the sound board and I think was somewhat amused to see so many Gwilts in one place; and all getting along too! Daughter #2 (child # 3) called in from California to report on her Hanukkah and Christmas celebrations. And Jessie’s Mom, Terry also shared a wonderful story about one of her young students.
Not much else to say, other than I am most thankful for the opportunity to be able to share some of my family with you and yours. I hope that you were able to share some good times with your friends and family this holiday season.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa and all other warm greetings to you and yours.
Jillian Tullis, Ph.D. in the Communications Department at UNC Charlotte, Larry Dawalt, Director of Spiritual and Grief Care Services for Hospice and Palliative Care Charlotte Region, and Donny Edwards, a resident Chaplain at Greenville Memorial Hospital in Greenville, SC were all with me in the studio today.
This show grew out of my interest in conversations around death and dying; how we feel about the end part of life, why some folks openly discuss the ‘end game’ while others avoid the conversation at all cost. I was fortunate to attend a version of a Death Cafe in Charlotte in November at The Respite, a Center for Grief and Hope. Jillian Tullis was one of the organizers of the event and the moderator in my group. The world works in wondrous ways at times. Jillian had been recommended to me for a show by my good friend Dena Shenk, Ph.D. the director of the Gerontology program at UNCC, and here Jillian was right in front of me. So I asked, and Dr. Tullis kindly accepted, along with Larry Dawalt, who happened to be seated next to me at the gathering. Larry had joined me in studio a few times before, and with his background with hospice care and his interest in the topic, I knew that he would only add to making this show one ‘for the ages’! And as fate would have it, my son-in-law, Donny Edwards and my daughter Rachel were traveling to Charlotte for the weekend, so with Donny a chaplain at a major hospital, he was the perfect addition to an already formidable lineup.
This show is uplifting, honest, and a must hear for all who embrace the full experience of life. I would recommend it for any of your loved ones who may be opposed to any conversation around the topics of death and dying.
Thanks for being a part of my journey with Radio 4 the Ages. -david