2013-05-23 / Church


(Life Lessons from Hospice Patients)

Oh no! She’s up!

Glenda parked herself just inside the front door of her nursing home. She greeted everyone who walked in exactly the same way.

“Do I know you?” she’d ask. “If not, I’d sure like to!”

Glenda’s short term memory was kaput. I mean gone. Three minutes was about the limit of its staying power. Then she’d blink and start all over again.

“Do I know you?”

The first couple of visits were mostly small talk. Then I changed my strategy. If all I had was three minutes, I was going to make it count.

“Do I know you? If not, I’d sure like to,” she began.

“Glenda, do you have any goals?” I asked.

Glenda blinked. She pursed her lips and looked me right in the eye.

“Well, yes. Yes, I do,” she said, slapping the armrest of her wheelchair. “I want to know Jesus so well that when my feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, ‘Oh no! She’s up!’”

I burst out laughing. Glenda kept smiling.

“I’m serious,” she said quietly, cocking an eyebrow.

I learned from Glenda’s family that she’d lived a devoted, purposeful life. She believed life was a fierce battle. Evil was real and not something to be ignored.

Once I asked her, “Glenda, how do you fight evil?”

“Love,” she whispered, grinning.

Then she blinked.

“Do I know you? If not, I’d sure like to.”

Love – the ultimate weapon against darkness.

Thanks Glenda.

Gary Roe is the Chaplain of Southern Care Hospice

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