Sometimes, people choose their calling. Other times, their calling chooses them.
Ray Taylor’s inspiration appeared in the form of a sedate woman he presumed was the neighbor or family friend of his buddy’s dying father. “Whenever I visited the home, there she was, sitting with the family,” recalls Ray, now a nonagenarian. Learning that she was a hospice volunteer, he told his friend, “I might like to do that when I retire.” The volunteer overheard and remembered him.
When Ray retired from teaching in 1983, she prodded him to begin his calling, which he has pursued ever since. In addition to being a founding member of HNC’s Auxiliary, Ray served as a patient care volunteer for two decades; sometimes visiting as many as three patients per week and working with AIDS victims, who often were shunned by society and even their families.
A gentle man of deep humility and humanity, Ray has a heart of gold and a great sense of humor; both of which are indispensable in hospice. He confides, “I feel like a breath of fresh air coming into the lives of families during their most difficult days.”
In his quiet, unassuming manner, he has lightened the burden and help light the way for many people on their life’s journeys. He is … a Ray of sunshine.