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2012-09-28 digital edition

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2012-09-28 / Church

THEY SAID IT

(Life Lessons from Hospice Patients)

What’s My Favorite Thing?

Sandra spent most days in the recliner in her living room, watching her little world from her pillow. She liked quiet. The only sound in her room was the hum of the oxygen.

Sandra liked to think. And she liked being alone with her thoughts. Often, I would walk in and silently sit down beside her, unwilling to disturb her internal reveries. Her eyes were often closed and she’d be grinning from ear to ear.

One day, she opened her eyes, saw me and gave a start. “Oh my goodness!” she said. “Just how long have you been there, young man?”

“Only a couple of minutes, Sandy,” I answered. “OK. Fess up. What’re you thinking about?”

“Well,” she said, still smiling, “I was thinking about my house. . .about my favorite thing in my house. I don’t have it any more and I sure miss it. But I’ll get it back again.”

“What was it?” I asked.

“Leonard,” she said.

I grinned back and squeezed her hand. Leonard was Sandra’s husband who’d passed away a number of years before.

My dad died suddenly when I was 15. I still miss him, maybe more than ever. I miss some other people too. Badly. We can miss things, but people are what life is all about.

Things can change in an instant. I need to let the people I love know that I love them – now, today, tomorrow, and the day after that.

“Leonard,” Sandra said.

What’s your favorite thing in your house?

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

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