The Love of a Lifetime
By: The Silverado South Houston Hospice team
We were truly inspired by the story of Billy and Joan Thrasher and their love that lasted a lifetime
In 2012, Joan’s declining health led her daughter to request a meeting with Silverado Hospice of South Houston to explain hospice and its benefits. Joan’s husband Billy, an ex-army colonel, declined services and felt that “Medicare should spend the money on someone else who really needs it.” Despite suffering from prostate cancer himself, he felt he could handle his wife’s increasing needs on his own.
Nearly a year later their daughter called again, and after another visit from Silverado, Billy accepted the offer of support for Joan, although he maintained active involvement in her daily care.
At first his strong will and independence seemed to be the traits of a lifelong soldier, but it soon became apparent that his motivation came from love for his wife. “She lovingly made a home for our four children and me. It’s my time to care for her,” he told their social worker. A Silverado Hospice aide noted, “Each time he looked at her it was like watching him fall in love with her again.”
In January, Joan passed away at home, surrounded by her loving family. Nine days later, we received a tearful call that Billy’s condition had worsened and needed our help. Staff reached out quickly to provide help and support but within three days he joined his wife.
Hospice staff witness many beautiful things, but everyone involved in the care of this couple agreed that the devotion and love shown by Billy to his wife Joan was the most wonderful thing they had ever seen.