by Ellen Jones, Intern

Most of my friends were incredibly confused when I told them that I was doing a summer internship with a hospice. “But Ellen, you’re a political science major! What are you even going to be doing there? Won’t that be really depressing?” Two months later, I don’t know how I could have done anything else with my summer. Working at Hospice of Marshall County has taught me so much about non-profits, marketing, making videos, and (of course) hospices, but the most important lessons that I have learned have all been about people. Each and every one of the wonderful people who I had the honor to work with this summer has shown me how good and strong and passionate people can be.

It is sometimes easy to forget about the kindness that humans are capable of. The media is filled with depressing stories and we are constantly facing negativity on all sides, but every day I spent at Hospice of Marshall County restored some of my faith in humanity. The incredible people who work here have dedicated their lives to helping others get the most out of their last months, weeks, and days on earth.  I am awed by their compassion and resilience because I know that I could never do what they do every day. I don’t have the inner strength that it takes to enter people’s lives and show them mercy at the time when they need it most. But day after day, that is what the employees of Hospice of Marshall County do. I believe that this is a calling and that it takes a very special person to provide hospice care. Even thought I am not one of these people, I have been blessed to be able to spend time around many of them, and my life will never be the same because of it.

Interning for a member of Congress, a political action committee, or a presidential candidate might have been more relevant to my future career in politics, but I’m glad that I spent my summer at Hospice of Marshall County instead. I can just as easily learn about life on the campaign trail after I graduate next May, but I will benefit from my internship here at HMC every single day of my life. I truly believe that I am a better person because of my time that I spent with these wonderful people and I will always be grateful for my summer at Hospice of Marshall County.