Hsiu-Mei loved to travel, but the center of her world was having her family gathered around the kitchen table. She cherished the time spent with loved ones, talking about daily life over a delicious meal. To her, the simple days were the precious days.

Amy, as her friends called her, immigrated to Hawaii from Taiwan 29 years ago with her husband Dar Shyong and two youngest children, Jessica and Jeng. She didn’t know how to speak English so she took adult classes at a local school, accompanied by her son. Hawaii became her home and Makiki her hometown. Her love of the ocean led her to Waikiki Aquarium where she volunteered her time educating visitors about Hawaii’s beautiful marine animals.

Ten years ago her husband retired so they increased their traveling to twice a year, visiting 13 countries including Australia, Thailand and Germany. When her second grandchild was about to be born, they made sure they’d be back in Hawaii for the big day. Ethan arrived strong and healthy. But Amy was feeling weak. She had lost 20 pounds and began to have difficulty eating.

Then her diagnosis came in; it was leukemia. For the next several months, Amy underwent chemo treatments. Her condition stabilized at first and she was able to exercise regularly, but the pain in her throat returned, making it hard for her to eat.

As her condition worsened, Amy and her family made the difficult decision to stop focusing on test results and start focusing on her comfort. “Navian Hospice Hawaii was able to take care of her at home, that was the best decision,” said her son Jeng.

Navian’s hospice care team worked to manage Amy’s pain, a chaplain offered spiritual guidance, a music therapist provided emotional support, and a pediatric therapist helped Amy’s granddaughter understand the events that were unfolding.

Under Navian’s care, Amy was able to eat again without pain. For two memorable weeks, she rejoined her family around the kitchen table, talking, laughing and enjoying delicious meals, just like old times. “Having her there was a big deal, that was a gift that Navian gave to our family,” says Jeng.

Amy is no longer here, but the family dinners continue, sometimes in person, sometimes by videochat, but always filled with love, laughter and good food, just the way Amy liked it.