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2012-08-16 digital edition

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2012-08-16 / Church

THEY SAID IT

(Life Lessons from Hospice Patients)

I Joined the Slip-And-Fall Club

Carolyn had been battling cancer for over a decade. She’d suffered a 30% weight loss in the past year and most of her hair was gone. Her attitude, however, was stellar. She tackled every day with a grateful, can-do mindset.

One Tuesday morning, Carolyn fell and broke her hip. I piled into the car and headed to the hospital. As I exited the elevator, I was greeted by the sound of laughter. It was coming from Carolyn’s room.

“Howdy, Chaplain!” she said, surrounded by family. “Fancy meeting you here. I know what you’re going to say. Don’t even bother. I made a decision. I officially joined the Slip-and-Fall Club. Now I get points for every slip and fall. How about that?!”

I smiled, cocked an eyebrow, and gave her my best yeah-right-whatever look.

“Now don’t knock it till you’ve tried it,” she continued. “After all, I’m bound and determined I’m going to get something out of this!”

Vintage Carolyn. She’s going to get something, something good and positive, out of whatever, no matter what. Her gratitude level is off the charts.

I’m not naturally a grateful person. Carolyn inspired me to try something. First thing when I wake up in the morning, I list out loud five things I’m thankful for. I repeat the same process before bed. I have a friend who says, “Practice makes permanent.” The same friend also says, “Lose gratitude, and you lose everything.”

I’m practicing being thankful. Anyone care to join me?

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

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