2011-12-01 / General Stories


(Life Lessons from Hospice Patients)

My Hair’s Not Done!

Barbara was a classy, “just so” lady. One look at her room told you she was a-place-for-everythingand everything-in-its-place kind of individual.

If she was awake, her door was open. Usually, I would knock, enter, and find her sitting in her recliner. I knocked. I entered. She was not in her recliner, but standing in front of me, using her walker, head down.

“Good morning, Barbara,” I said.

“Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!” she screamed, jerking her head up. “No! No! I. . . I . . . I can’t see you now. My, my. . .my hair’s not done!”

Shocked, I just stood there.

“I’m not kidding!” she continued. “Nobody sees me without my hair done. NOBODY!”

“Uhhh. . .Okay. Sorry,” I stammered, and turned to go.

Just about the time I got to the door, I heard a snicker. Turning, I found Barbara nearly doubled over her walker, shaking with laughter. I began to laugh. In a matter of seconds, we were so loud the facility staff began peeking in to see what was happening.

Finally, Barbara caught her breath. “I really am serious!” she said, then promptly broke out into laughter again.

I once heard someone say that we begin to change when we can laugh at ourselves and the stupid things we do. One of my daughters has mastered this. I need to take lessons. Oh, and I’m not saying that having your hair done is stupid!

Let’s do some laughing today, at ourselves. It beats getting angry or crying. Who knows? It might even lead to some much needed change.

Thanks, Barbara, for a great laugh.

Gary Roe is the Chaplain of Southern Care Hospice and is interim Minister at First Baptist Church in Lexington

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