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Here to Share the Journey

The Story of the Big Bend Hospice Tree

For over 25 years, Big Bend Hospice has had a tree as the centerpiece of our logo.  How the tree came to hold such importance is a poignant story that exemplifies the true mission of our organization.

Sue Hester was part of a group of dedicated community volunteers who established Big Bend Hospice in 1983 as an alternative for people facing an end of life illness.  Not only did individuals get involved, but they in turn involved their families.  Sue Hester’s son Bucky designed the Hospice tree logo and this is her story.

There is a large old oak tree in my parent’s backyard with gnarled branches that reached up to the sky and roots firmly set in rich earth.  My older children spent summers in this loving home…and this tree provided shelter from a sudden summer rain shower and shade for lunches served on a small table that was child-size.  Younger brothers played ‘cars’ among the roots and older sister and brother spent hours reading books and dreaming dreams.  The tree was a safe place…a warm and inviting place…a very special haven when one needed hurts to heal or joy to be shouted up into its branches…a resting place for the weary at heart.  Branches sheltered young and old alike…all were protected by the old oak tree.

This was how the Logo was born!  My oldest child Bucky, would sit at his drawing board with sketches of the idea for a logo (from our Hospice volunteer group), with a smile on his face.  He was working on a drawing of a tree, and every stroke he made reminded him of the big old oak tree in Nana’s backyard.  You see, this tree was frequently the topic of conversation when family members gathered together and wanted to remember special times…the good years of growing up and the memories that one holds on to always…roots of our beginning and our ending.  The oak tree came alive again; only this time on paper.

The Hospice tree has additional meaning for our family since Bucky left us on September 4, 1992.  Getting on with life…just getting through the day can be difficult…just living, but we did survive thanks to the care and support of OUR Big Bend Hospice.  So the Hospice tree with strong roots and branches that reach out to shelter those in need, that provides a safe place, that is a haven for the weary of heart lives on.  Bucky is buried on a hill, under a tree, not an oak tree, but a tree whose branches reach down and one feels at peace and remembers Bucky’s ‘safe place’ amongst the roots of an oak tree in Nana’s backyard.”

Today, the symbol of the oak tree is seen in all eight counties and is represented in the names of programs such as the Caring Tree Program for Children and Teens.

1723 Mahan Center Blvd. • Tallahassee, FL 32308 • 850.878.5310 or 800.772.5862