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2012-09-13 digital edition

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2012-09-13 / Church

THEY SAID IT

(Life Lessons from Hospice Patients)

Chicken is Good. God is Amazing

Dale was a tall, lanky guy. He had to stoop to put his arm around me. “How’s the weather down there?” he’d ask. “Cooler,” was my usual answer.

Dale’s assisted living facility was laid out in a perfect square. He said that kept him from going around in circles. Almost never in his room, he was usually walking with his dog, Bingo. I’d come down the hall singing, “B-I-N-GO, B-I-N-G-O, B-I-N-G-O,” and Dale’s voice would ring out, “And Bingo was his name, Oh!”

One day I visited during lunch. Dale was munching away, wearing a t-shirt that said “What’re You Lookin’ At?” He gave me a thumbs-up and motioned for me to join him.

“How’s lunch?” I asked.

“Glorious!” he yelled toward the kitchen, winking at me.

“Oh, hush!” came the reply from the cook (whose name was Gloria).

“Mmmhmm,” Dale said, enjoying his chicken.

“Good?” I inquired.

“Yep. Chicken is good. God is amazing,” he quipped, grinning from ear-to-ear.

Two weeks later, Dale fell and broke a hip. He never recovered. At his funeral I was asked to share some memories. I told some bad jokes that we traded back and forth. Then I got serious.

“Dale once said something that has become a motto for my life.” I paused for dramatic effect. “Chicken is good. God is amazing.”

Humor is a gift. We could use a little more of it, don’t you think?

Thanks, Dale.

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

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