Deer Gun Season results down all across Ohio Hometown Christmas in Peebles rings in the holiday season Manchester Elementary receives 2016 Momentum Award Drug bust in West Union Stephen C Foster Donna Rivers WUES students perform as part of Honor Choir Ohio Brush Creek Canoe/Kayak access completed Hall of Fame Christmas in Portsmouth Thyme to trim the Christmas Tree 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
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You need to finish what you start

Norma was 76 years old when admitted to hospice. She was born and raised in Wheelersburg, Ohio, but worked for 25 years in Cleveland, and a few years in Marion, before returning full-circle to her daughter Essie’s home in Wheelersburg. Norma is forward and feisty. She loves her Coke and ice cream and is adamant about keeping her toe nails and finger nails painted. She shared, “I love being around people. I love to travel, just me and my little dog.”

About four months after Norma’s enrollment in hospice her condition declined and she was admitted to our hospice center. Garnet, her nurse, reported, “Her oxygen levels are down and her chest is tight,” and Norma was experiencing some confusion.

On the fourth day of her hospice center stay Norma reported, “I’m feeling a lot better. They thought that I had a heart attack but I didn’t. I hope I get to go home today.” I asked if she still hoped to spend a week with her daughter in Marion and she replied, “I’m not giving up. I’m not quitting. I never was a quitter. I’ve always finished what I started. I tried to pound that into my daughter’s head too. I like to work puzzles and Essie did too. I bought her big-piece puzzles when she was only two or three. I bought her things that would stimulate her brain, that she would have to work on and figure out.”

“She’d get frustrated sometimes and wanted me to work the puzzle for her, but I wouldn’t. I told her, ‘No, you have to finish it. You need to finish what you start.’ And she’s still like that today. She’ll say in the evening, ‘I’m not going to start because I don’t have time to finish it.’ If she starts something she finishes it. I’ve seen a lot of pole barns in the country that are unfinished. You can tell they’ve been there a long time by the way the rain has washed over them; and I think, what a waste.

I knew that Norma was “finished” with our conversation when she turned up the volume of her soap opera and turned her attention towards the television. One thing I’ve learned in hospice is, “You never interfere with a woman’s soap opera.”

Norma’s dismay over all those unfinished pole barns reminds me of a parable told by Jesus. “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it lest after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’?”(Luke 14:28-35). or in Norma’s words, “What a waste!”

I believe we’re genetically and divinely engineered for accomplishment, for completion. Debby, our hospice educator, is my “go to person” when I want to better understand a clinical issue or physiological process. So I asked Debby to help me understand how our bodies respond when we complete a task.

She explained, “The pituitary gland produces endorphins. They’re like a narcotic, a natural form of morphine. When we complete a task the endorphins are released into the opioid receptors of the dorsal horns of the vertebrae, the spinal cord, and we experience a rush, a natural high. It’s like the runner’s high. When the rush plateaus we experience an aftermath of a sense of well being, of freedom, a physical and mental release, a letting go.”

Debby continued and explained that the intensity of the reward seems to correspond with the difficulty of the task and with how well we finish. When we finish well, when we know we’ve left it all on the court, we experience what could be called, in Chef Emeril’s words, the “Bam” effect.

Debby concluded, “When you finish something it’s like when you wrap a present. You tie the ribbon around it and put the bow on top, and then and you have something to present, a gift. Until you finish something you don’t have anything of value to offer to others. That’s what Jesus did for us on the cross when He said, It is finished.”

You see, we are divinely scripted for accomplishment. So, I ask you, is there something that you know you need to finish? Then what are you waiting for?

“Let your endurance be a finished product, so that you may be finished and complete.” (James 1:4; Moffatt translation)

Loren Hardin is a social worker with Southern Ohio Medical Center – Hospice and can be reached by email at hardinl@somc.org or by phone at 740-356-2525.

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Loren Hardin

Straight Paths

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