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2013-05-16 digital edition

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2013-05-16 / Church

THEY SAID IT

(Life Lessons from Hospice Patients)

I Guess You Being Here Takes This Long!

Serena had been in charge of things, and people, all her life. She was a natural leader, a mover-andshaker. She fought getting older with every fiber of her being. While she was able, she cruised up and down the halls of her assisted living facility on her walker, giving orders to anybody who’d listen.

Serena was not fond of doctors. “Just a bunch of quacks out to make a buck,” she said. So when it came time for our hospice doctor to call on Serena, we smelled trouble. I went along for moral support.

“Hello Serena,” our friendly doctor chirped.

“Oh pooh! I was hoping you’d have an emergency somewhere,” she answered.

He knelt down beside her recliner and began his examination. His bedside manner was impeccable. He approached her with small talk, asking about her family and friends. He expressed genuine interest in her life and hobbies. He even told a good joke.

Serena wasn’t buying any of it. She rolled her eyes, interrupted him mid-sentence and squawked, “Well, I guess you being here takes this long?!”

I laughed so hard I had to leave the room. Luckily, I could hear the doc laughing too.

There are things – and people – we don’t like. We’d avoid them, if we could. But what would we do without them? God uses them to teach us humility, patience, and other critical life skills. Characterbuilders, a friend of mine calls them.

Hmm. I wonder whose character-builder I am?

Gary Roe is the Chaplain of Southern Care Hospice

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