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2013-03-28 digital edition

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2013-03-28 / Church

THEY SAID IT

(Life Lessons from Hospice Patients)

My Memory is Not What It Used to Be

“Do I know you?” Alfred asked.

Alfred greeted me this way every time I saw him, and I had visited him for more than a year. His short-term memory ranged anywhere from 3 minutes to a mere 30 seconds. Conversing with him was an adventure. If I wanted to know something specific, I had to be fast and brief.

“Yes sir. You know me. I come see you quite a bit,” I answered.

“Really? Well, you do sort of look familiar. My memory is not quite what it used to be,” he replied, winking.

“That’s just fine, Alfred,” I said. “There’s a lot in life that’s not what it used to be.”

“You got that right! Nothing’s the same anymore,” he retorted.

Things change rapidly, don’t they? The sheer speed of life can leave us breathless, feeling we can’t possibly keep up - swept along by a current flowing much faster than we can swim. We can feel at the mercy of the circus around us.

Is such speed healthy? Can all the information we have access to 24/7 create even more stress? One study states the average attention span on the internet is eight seconds. Wow. No wonder mental health experts suggest fasting from gadgets periodically as a de-stressing technique.

Psalm 46 says, “Be still and know that I am God.”

Ah. There is Someone who never changes. Perhaps He is the key to dealing with all this change.

Here’s to being still.

Gary Roe is the Chaplain of Southern Care Hospice

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