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2012-08-02 digital edition

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2012-08-02 / Church

THEY SAID IT

(Life Lessons from Hospice Patients)

“What’s With the Hair?”

Sally had just celebrated her birthday. She was now officially one-hundred-and-two. As I walked into the nursing home, I could hear them singing Happy Birthday from the dining room. I peeked around the corner and spied her table, piled with gifts and adorned with a single-candle cupcake.

Then I saw something that really got my attention. Pink hair.

Sally was a very young hundred-and-two, but I really couldn’t see her dying her hair pink. After all, she was blind and could hardly hear.

I made eye-contact with her 80-year-old daughter sitting next to her. I pointed at my head and mouthed, “What’s-with-the-hair?” Her daughter started giggling. She practically ran over to me.

“Well, you know how mom likes hats,” she said. “This morning the nurses gave her a new one. So it wouldn’t get lost, they decided to write her name on the inside of the brim. The only thing they could find was a red Sharpie. . . .” More giggling.

Sally wore the hat until the party. When they took it off. . .Viola! Pink hair.

Sally passed about a week later. I went by the funeral home for the visitation. Everyone there was smiling and laughing. Sure enough. Pink hair.

What we surround ourselves with does tend to rub off on us, doesn’t it? Even more so the people we rub shoulders with the most.

All the more reason to make wise choices.

Guess it depends on what color hair we want. . .

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

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