2011-09-22 / General Stories


(Life Lessons from Hospice Patients)

Where’d You Come Stumblin’ in From?

Maxine lives way out in the country. The first time I tried to see her, I passed the place three times. My GPS and I were clueless. I finally called her house, keeping her daughter on the phone until she guided me all the way into the driveway.

When I went inside, Maxine was sitting on the couch, hands folded in her lap, eyes closed, facing straight ahead. Thinking she was asleep, I sat down beside her. Feeling the movement, she opened the eye closest to me, gazed at me a moment, and smiled.

“So, where’d you come stumblin’ in from?” she asked.

I thought for a second. “Outside,” I answered.

She began giggling. I giggled. I knew we were off to a good start.

Maxine was right about me, you know. I come stumblin’ in. I stumble around. Then I go stumblin’ back out again. Stumblin’ along, from one thing to the next. Sometimes I trip and fall. I’ve had a lot of practice getting up from landing flat on my face.

Can anybody relate?

Hopefully I’m stumbling along in the right direction. Hopefully I’m bringing more joy than sorrow into the lives of those around me. Hopefully I’m learning to forgive and let go along the way. I’m very grateful for those willing to stumble along with me.

“Just keep moving forward,” a little voice within me whispers.

Thanks Maxine. I’ll stumble in again soon.

Gary Roe is the Chaplain of

Southern Care Hospice and is interim Minister at First Baptist Church in Lexington

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