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Donation completes healing garden

by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - Judy Bonds $10,000 donation funded the last of three covered seating areas, completing the healing garden at Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center.The east-facing covered seating area in the garden isn’t your typical memorial.

There’s no bench with a plaque bearing a name and date of death. No tree dedicated in memory of anyone.

Instead, poetic words mark a support beam for a structure designed to provide shade and comfort to those who find their way into the healing garden at Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center.

“Those who have shown us love, brought us joy and made us laugh, have given us the lasting gifts of a beautiful life — and blessed our memories forever.”

Judy Bond, 67, read these same words in a sympathy card two years ago following the death of her husband of 28 years, Deane.

The two met while working for Pacific Northwest Bell just after Deane had won a bout against lung cancer. They fell in love, got married in 1983 and lived a wonderful life together in Gresham. When Judy retired from the corporate world, she put her skills to work volunteering at the hospital.

For 14 years, she’d done everything from sew torn seams on lead aprons worn during X-rays to help with paperwork.

She was on the committee that began planning a healing garden for the hospital in 2006. As an inactive master gardener, as Judy puts it, the project was a perfect fit for her talents and interests.

Hospital volunteers like herself were instrumental in the $250,000 endeavor, pouring in $25,000 of their own money to fund it, not to mention hours of labor.

Groundbreaking was in April 2009, with a dedication in November of that same year. The garden included a covered seating area, or a pavilion, on one end. Two concrete pads also were poured but sat empty and uncovered until more funding came in to complete them.

Judy always enjoyed the garden, as do fellow volunteers, patients, visitors and staff, who take breaks there.

Then her husband’s lung cancer returned.by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - Judys husband of 28 years, Deane, will have died two years ago this month.

Judy took a leave of absence from her weekly volunteer shift at the hospital to care for him. He died July 20, 2011, at the age of 83.

It took a while for the sting of grief to subside. But when it did, Judy searched for a way to commemorate her late husband.

“I really wanted something more than a tree or a brick,” she said.

Then it hit her — the perfect tribute for her husband.

She would fund one of the $10,000 pavilions.

Deane, with his fair skin, was prone to sunburns. Judy rarely saw him outside without a hat on. Funding a structure that provides shade and shelter would be a perfect tribute to him.

Judy thrilled hospital officials when she told them the news earlier this year. In fact, they managed to find funding for the third and final pavilion, so that the installations could be done in tandem. The structures complete the garden and were erected in May. A dedication ceremony was held Friday, June 21.

But the hospital officials seemed puzzled when Judy turned down their offer to place a memorial plaque with Deane’s name on the pavilion.

“I wanted people to be able to appreciate it without the connotation of someone’s passing,” she said. “It’s a peaceful place to take a deep breath and get our mind off what’s going on inside (the hospital). A quiet place to collect your thoughts. And it’s a cover that would have protected him had he been here.”

Judy thought of the words of that sympathy card that so resonated with her after her husband’s death.

She knew they would send a universal message to anyone visiting the garden.

“It will serve all people in their time of need,” Judy said. “Both the words on the structure and the pavilion itself.”



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