Cassy Midboe’s hire date at Haven was May 1990. She has been a social worker at Haven for 29+ years and has seen many changes, but one thing remains the same: the countless lives that hospice employees are able to touch.
“You don’t know when you walk in the door what type of person a patient was or what they used to be like,” said Cassy. “Then, they begin sharing stories and it is incredible. People are forthcoming about who they are. We have to know our patients intensely in what is often a short amount of time, but be able to let go as well. It is a true blessing.”
Cassy, who was a volunteer and intern at Haven before she was hired, served in the Army prior to beginning her career with Haven.
When asked if there are certain memories that stick out from her career as a social worker, Cassy said everyone in hospice care collects memories of patients that they can’t let go and will never forget. There is one day, though, that always comes to mind when she reflects on her Haven career. She was working in Palatka on September 11, 2001. For a while, staff did not know what was going on that day, but when the news broke, she and her coworkers were dismissed from meetings to go home or pick up children from school. Cassy, however, got in her car and drove to Starke to sit with a patient.
The patient, a man named Emmitt, had worked in naval intelligence and spent his career in the Antarctic. “I knew Emmitt was the person I wanted to spend that day with,” said Cassy. They mostly sat in silence that day, but shared with each other a few experiences. Cassy will never forget when they were watching TV, Emmitt turned to her and said, “Do you think if we went back to the recruiter that they’d take us back?”
Countless patients like Emmitt have left their mark on Cassy’s life. She said those who work in hospice care will undoubtedly have wonderful days as well as challenging days. “My mantra comes from Lily Gordon, who was a CNA in Palatka,” said Cassy. “Lily was spiritual, calm and centered. She told me, ‘Cassy, don’t let anything steal your joy.’ Wherever your life progresses, do not let anything steal the joy inside of you. Those are my words of wisdom.”
Having three careers, Cassy said she has always known what was next. She said her retirement chapter will be full of travel and family time.
Cassy’s words to Haven associates: “For this agency, this home, this family, I want you to know that the prayers are in the walls. When this building was built, staff, volunteers, patients and families wrote on the walls. When I walk through, I always think about that. This is a singular, unique, very special place. Whatever is going on, that cannot be forgotten. Working at Haven has been an honor, and I can’t believe this last month has come so quickly.”
Thank you for your dedicated service to Haven, Cassy!
Photos: (Left) Cassy Midboe sits at the E.T. York Hospice Care Center in her last month of Haven employment. (Right) Cassy kept her identification badges and recognition pins over the years.