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2012-09-20 digital edition

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2012-09-20 / Church

THEY SAID IT

(Life Lessons from Hospice Patients)

We All Have Some Bad Days

Geraldine was a down-to-earth, realistic lady. As the cliché goes, she had both feet firmly on the ground. When her heart disease progressed to the point of needing hospice, she said to us, “Don’t you people go trying to protect me. I don’t need protecting. You tell me straight-up what’s going on. I can’t deal with what I don’t know.”

One night was especially trying. Chest pain and palpitations made for some miserable hours. When I saw Geraldine the next morning, she was pale and exhausted.

She appeared more frustrated than scared. “I’m so used to being in control,” she stammered. “I hate this.”

She dropped her head for a moment, then continued, “Oh, well. We all have some bad days. So what?”

Even though Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. . .,” I somehow expect life to be smooth. I must, for I get flustered when things don’t go as I anticipate.

As Geraldine said, “So what?” Who am I to define what should happen? Just because I don’t like it, does that make it bad? Who knows what God might be doing? Things that appear terrible can take us to new levels of living.

I call them stealth blessings.

They’re out there. Do we see them?

I could do with a little more realism, garnished with a generous helping of faith. Or maybe that should be the other way around?

“We all have some bad days. So what?”

Indeed. Thanks, Geraldine.

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

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