Wednesday night's Light Up A Life Celebration was hosted by the Optimal Hospice Foundation. Optimal provides hospice nurses and volunteers to families when medical care for a loved one changes from cure to comfort as they enter the final stage in life. The ceremony was a chance for Bakersfield residents to light a candle in honor of a lost loved one.
The keynote speaker was Gene Tackett, whose wife Wendy Wayne died earlier this year of cancer. To honor his wife, who received hospice care from optimal, Tackett read a note written in a book given to Wendy Wayne by local author Andrea Caldwell.
"'I am left with a feeling of determination, strength, and will to make the quiet thoughts a reality. Thank you for the gift you have given me.' When I read that, that's what Optimal Hospice has given me," said Tackett.
Tonight's ceremony included special music and the reading of names of loved ones who've passed on, by family members, hospice nurses and volunteers.