by Kim Eckenroth
Vice President of Patient Care Services, Gentle Shepherd Hospice


Meet Lillian and Lilly… the “Lucky Ducks” who have joined the Gentle Shepherd family. Earlier this spring during a Tractor Supply run, I came across a gentleman selling these beauties outside and I got them for my nieces. After a week, however, they decided that the ducks were too much work, so back to the Eckenroth’s they came.

As I pondered the situation, I thought about Sasha, our executive administrator of operations, and called to see if her two little girls might like to have them. Now Lilian and Lilly live in Eagle Rock!

While Sasha and her family are on vacation, we became the “Lucky ducks,” as we have the pleasure of keeping them. Lillian and Lilly have grown tremendously and are inseparable. They are not yet quacking, just peeping. Last night they got a bath out in the garage! Surely Don thought I had lost my mind, but it was great fun watching them play and swim. Naturally, they love water. You can even find them standing in their water bowls sometimes!

The dogs are mesmerized by the new life in the garage. At every opportunity, they cling to your leg pretending to be invisible, in an effort to sneak through the door with you. Our youngest golden retriever pup, Bentley, just loves them. He must be thinking… it’s a moving squeaky toy that likes water too!

Like Sasha’s ducks are to water is how we are wherever God places us in life. We flourish, we grow, we learn. Step by step. we mature and life continues on. In their short lives, Lillian and Lilly, have had several homes. They are completely helpless and dependent on us for their every need.

We all have been given another day to live and to focus on what God has for us today. Our task may be feeding his animals, being an encouragement to our patients, their families, our children or spouse. It may be leading someone to Jesus. Wherever you are today, praying for you courage and strength, peace and hope.

Blessings over your lives and angels around you.



Members of the Gentle Shepherd team often write and share stories, devotionals, testimonials and words of faith and encouragement with the staff. We thought you might appreciate them as much as we do, so we created a regular feature in our blog called “In Our Words.” We hope they touch your heart too.