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2012-08-09 digital edition

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2012-08-09 / Church

THEY SAID IT

(Life Lessons from Hospice Patients)

Do You Hear Something?

Audrey was a delightful lady in her late nineties. She had a smile the size of Texas and a disposition to match. She couldn’t move very well. She couldn’t hear worth a darn. But she was one happy camper.

Audrey loved to have the Bible read to her. She couldn’t hear you, but she was an excellent lipreader. You just had to get used to her staring at your mouth.

As I walked into the nursing home one day, I was greeted by the blare of a pressure alarm (nasty noise-makers for beds and wheelchairs that go off when someone-who-shouldn’t-be-standing-andwalking on-their-own gets up). I quickly discovered it was coming from Audrey’s room.

As I entered, I had to cover my ears. Absolutely deafening. Audrey was leaning forward in her wheelchair, trying to pick up something off the floor. I bent down and got her attention.

“Well, hi there!” she said, breaking into her Texas-sized grin. Then she got a funny look on her face and asked, “Listen. Do you hear something?”

I burst out laughing. “Audrey, sit back. Your alarm is going off,” I said.

“Whoops,” she replied, laughing. She leaned back. Silence descended. My ears rang.

“It’s real loud, isn’t it?” she asked.

“Yep,” I responded.

“Whoops!” Giggle.

Are there times when our pressure alarm is going off but we don’t hear it? Yep. Like Audrey, we all need people who’ll take the risk and say, “Sit back. Your alarm is going off.”

How’s your pressure alarm today?

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

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