Junior High Lady Hounds get season-opening sweep Lady Devils roll past Paint Valley in season opener Senior Profile: Jessica Johnson Michael E Roberts Sr Evelyn L Jones Thomas M Calvert Ryan, Sowards lead Lady Indians to easy win in season opener, 57-36 over Felicity Senior Profile: Wes Hayslip Justice off to hot start at VSU County boys’ squads on display in annual SHAC Preview Night ‘Operation Christmas Child’ collects 1,707 shoe boxes for needy children Two animal cruelty cases investigated in Adams County DP&L considers closing power-generating plants in county Holiday spirit makes an early appearance in Adams County Chester A Mann Jeffrey A Daley Sr Michael G Tincher DAR sponsors Good Citizen Award Ohio’s young hunters harvest nearly 6,000 deer during Youth Gun Season Senior Profile: Kayle Thomas Helen N Hiestand Rev Walter R Egnor Sr Betty Beam Jamie L Corrill Jeffrey L Heppard Edsel L Massey Jr It is time to stop and take time to give thanks on a special day Another year to be very thankful for Senior Profile: Savannah McCoy McCoy signs to continue golf career at SSU North Adams hosts SHAC Girls Preview DAR commemorates 50th anniversary of Vietnam War Historical Society honors veterans Star Wars routine leads Fancy Free Cloggers to ‘America’s Got Talent’ A Day at the Opera Eagle Creek draws community to Thanksgiving celebration Ward ekes out victory over Worley in county commissioner race Mary A Garman Ronald L Palmer Joseph S McClanahan II Emma O Hayslip Devils slip by Georgetown in Foundation Game Hupp, Hunter, Wolke named OSSCA Second Team All-State Senior Profile: Kain Turner Lady Devils romp in Foundation Game Oh, those aromas coming from Mom’s kitchen What Became My Biggest Project Deer gun season set to begin ‘Trees to Textbooks’ shares revenues with local schools and communities BREAKING NEWS Winchester’s Baxter wins Miss Ohio USA 2017 pageant Genny Elkins Pauline S Stevenson Donald E Lewis Sr Charlotte R Seaman Ruth Prater Bennie Skaggs Gertrude Swayne West Union High School hosts impressive Veterans Day ceremonies Peebles Elementary hosts ceremony to honor local veterans Duke Energy exits Killen and Stuart Plants GE Aviation hosts annual Veterans Day celebration Senior Profile: Logan Gordley Jeffrey A Brown Sr Peebles Library welcomes local author and survivor on Nov. 19 Homer C Eldridge Robert W Schomberg One Commissioner race too close to call in unofficial count Voters approve majority of county levies on Tuesday’s election ballot NAES Sixth Graders practice the democratic process Honoring one who gave the ‘last full measure of devotion’ Overcoming adversity, veteran of Iraq War opens local business Senior Profile: Ben Figgins Senior Profile: Macy Mullenix SHAC Basketball Previews are set for Nov. 18 and 25 Trio of local golfers finish careers with trip to the highest level of high school competition Peebles sophomore Jenny Seas finishes sixth in OHSAA state cross-country meet Upset win sends Trump to the White House ACRMC awarded plaque for 50 years of service Peebles Elementary releases Honor Roll for First Nine Week Grading Period BREAKING ELECTION NEWS! Senior Profile: Jordyn Kell Orlie H Kirker Military homecoming at NAES Second half spells doom as Greyhounds fall to Hillcrest 42-12 in finale Senior Profile: Sarah McFarland WU’s Horton will continue golf career at SSU Lady Devils’ season ends in heartbreak with 3-2 loss in District championship battle Christine R. Ritchey Operation Christmas Child begins Nov. 14 Mental Health levy on tomorrow’s ballot Wanda L. Nixon David Rogers Robert “Bobby” Leonard Keneth Waters Commissioner Worley seeks re-election Republican challenger vies for Commissioner’s seat Charles Cooper Thelma J White
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Hello in there

George is 83 years old and was admitted to hospice for end stage heart disease. George tenaciously, but barely, clings to his independence, living alone in his, and his deceased wife Lucille’s, home. Lucille’s been gone for over five years now.

George says things that most of us aren’t honest enough to say. His perennial prayer is, “Lord, why don’t you just give me a little energy to do a little work?” But in spite of his prayers George continues to grow weaker. And sometimes George gets a little mad about it, “If God really cares then why won’t He give me a little energy? Is that too much to ask?” But after blowing off a little steam he says, “But I know he loves me. He told me so. Once I heard him say, ‘George, you know I love you.”

George eagerly shares his commentaries on life. One beautiful summer day as George and I sat in his lawn swing he commented, “Do you know what frustrates me? People don’t appreciate things anymore. People are like hogs. An acorn can fall from a tree, hit a hog on the head and fall to the ground and a hog will gobble it up without ever looking up to see where it came from.”

I recently visited George and it just happened to be his and Lucille’s wedding anniversary and George shared, “I used to wish I could know that she was in the house again even if only for a few more seconds, but I don’t feel like that anymore. My days are numbered, I can tell it. I know I’m on my way out but I still want to get out there and see life while I can.”

We talked about the peace that comes from recognizing and cooperating with the stages of life. We reflected on the lyrics of an old hymn: “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace.”

I sensed that “the things of earth” were growing “strangely dim” to George. For the first time, he appeared to be coming to grips with his mortality. He seemed to be embracing the final developmental task of life, that of shifting his hope from the physical to the spiritual, from the temporal to the eternal. But surprisingly I had mixed emotions. On one hand I celebrated his spiritual progress, but on the other hand I grieved because I realized that I would eventually be saying goodbye to “ole George.” George’s daughters had apparently also detected the changing seasons. They’ve always provided support while respecting their father’s independence, but the frequency and intensity of their support had increased and the climate had changed.

A couple weeks ago George reflected on what it’s like to grow older: “It’s a rough old world for old people. People don’t help each other anymore or maybe I just can’t see it because I’m stuck in the house now. I guess they do open the door for you sometimes when you go to the grocery store. I used to like to help people. It made me feel good to do something for somebody. The lady at Kroger said to me, “It seems like people aren’t very interested in you when you get old are they? That was nice for someone to say when she really doesn’t know me that well.” Then George added, “And people don’t talk to you when you get old. It’s like we don’t even speak the same language any more and you don’t hear anything good any more. I’m thinking about having the TV cable turned off. I watch HLN but every 45 minutes they just rerun the same old news.”

George’s commentary reminds me of the lyrics of a song by John Prine titled “Hello in There, Hello, we had an apartment in the city, me and Loretta liked living there. Well, it’s been years since the kids had grown, a life of their own left us alone. Ya’ know that old trees just grow stronger and old rivers grow wilder every day. Old people just grow lonesome, waiting for someone to say, ‘Hello in there, hello. Me and Loretta, we don’t talk much any more, she sits and stares through the back door screen and all the news just repeats itself like some forgotten dream that we’ve both seen. Someday I’ll go and call up Rudy. We worked together at the factory. But what could I say if he asks ‘What’s new?’ ‘Nothing, what’s with you?’; ‘Nothing much to do’. So if you’re walking down the street sometime; and spot some hollow ancient eyes, please don’t just pass by and stare, as if you didn’t care, say, ‘Hello in there, hello.”

Loren Hardin is a social worker with Southern Ohio Medical Center – Hospice and can be reached by email at hardinl@somc.org.

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Loren Hardin

Straight Paths

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