Hospice and palliative care is not about dying, it is about living well until the end. Feeling inspired by the many folks we’ve crossed paths with over the years at the Preserve Company, we had a vision to build a respite cottage - a place of rest for individuals, families, or caregivers coping with serious life threatening illnesses. Over the last few years, with generous support from the community, that vision has become a reality.
The Respite Cottage, or the Hope Cottage as it’s called by some guests, was formerly a church building, but was renovated into a wheelchair accessible cottage that sleeps seven individuals. There are two washrooms, a fireplace, open kitchen and decks. Nestled within the Gardens of Hope, 12 acres of awe-inspiring natural beauty on our property in New Glasgow, the cottage is also made available to those who are ministering to others and who are experiencing compassion fatigue.
As we celebrate World Hospice and Palliative Care Day on October 10th, we reflect on the courage and hope of the many guests who’ve stayed in the Respite Cottage. We don’t have the words to convey how these amazing individuals and their families have shaped our lives and made the Gardens of Hope a very special place.
In honor of these friends, we’d like to share a few words they’ve been kind enough to share with us.
“We are so blessed to have found you both and been well enough to travel to the beautiful, picturesque and serene Gardens of Hope. This vacation was truly a God send; a much needed escape for the four of us, from the difficult road we have travelled over the past year[…] We are so grateful for your warm hospitality at the cottage, the Preserve Co., and the Garden Theatre, but we are also so grateful for all of the many extras you so graciously organized … We will remain eternally grateful for the beautiful 8 days of family time we were at to enjoy at the Gardens of Hope Cottage. We will do all that we can to pay-it-forward and will hold a very special place in our hearts for PEI, the Garden of Hope and our two Angels; Shirley and Bruce.”
“There are not enough thanks you’s that we can say that could possibly convey how grateful we are to have spent quality family time at Hope Cottage. The Gardens of Hope is such a tranquil place and gave us all reflection time, and indeed gave us comfort and hope for our future. We loved the quiet, hand-holding, loving moments where we never felt so alive or loved. We explored your island and your grounds and by far our best moment happened here at the Hope Gardens. We instantly connected with nature, your selected art work around the property, the lily ponds, butterflies, waterbus, dragonflies, everything was so full of life. We are blessed and we know it.”
“Our two nights’ rest surrounded by nature’s beauty have created memories that will never be forgotten.”
“...this was one of my dying wishes to see Anne of Green Gables and that was great. My stay here at the Gardens of Hope just topped the trip. Thank you for your kindness for everything you’ve done for us. When I came in the door, it was breathtaking. I fell in love with the place.”
The Respite Cottage has become a place of rest, hope and renewed spirit. It is available at no cost for up to one week for individuals who have a life threatening illness but are well enough to travel, caregivers and those ministering to others. Non-Profit human service organizations are also welcome to use it for small gatherings or meetings. For more information about the Respite Cottage, please email firstname.lastname@example.org