Manchester mourns teen killed in single-car crash Kylie S Lucas Sharon R Grooms Steven L Wootten Forest J McDaniel Ralph O Grooms Adams County teenager dies in auto accident Charles N Vance Wesley M Baldwin James Kennedy Tom A Mihalovich Brand hat trick leads North Adams past West Union 5-2 in SHAC soccer action Senior Profile: Bryant Lung Lady Hounds pull off thrilling Senior Night win Volleyball milestones continue to pile up at North Adams Banner season for Lady Indians soccer SHAC holds Junior High Volleyball Tournament Tournament match ups set for volleyball and soccer Senior Profile: Morgan Edmisten Hounds dominate, improve to 3-4 Is this not the best time of the year? Volley For The Cure is another big success Getting everything we ask for Oh, that dreaded leaf project Manchester: Adams County’s oldest community looks to the future with hope Congressman visits Manchester’s newest business Six candidates vie for MLSD School Board Highway 41 road work stalls MFD holds annual Safety Day for kids, families Lenora Mckee Virgie Cole Helen J Damron Karen S Lockhart Donna M Pelfrey Russell D Pollitt, Sr Karen S Lockhart Harris named Director of Shelter for the Homeless Local candidates abundant on November ballot Senior Profile: McKinlee Grooms Lady Dragons finish third in district golf tourney Lady Devils challenged, but survive to extend SHAC streak to 60 Rally falls short, Lady Hounds fall in five sets to Fairfield Senior Profile: Jessica Newman Lady Indians get shutout win over West Union, 2-0 Erwins host annual Herb Fair Bentonville: A community at the crossroads of Adams County history Tranquility, Wilson Homestead host annual Heritage Days Why we get back up Your local newspaper, the real deal Welcome to the morning klatch Oleda F Saunders Frank A Golden Shirley A Tully Hubert Knauff John T Shupert Celebrate the sports pages Gould, Woolard, defense lead Hounds to second win George E Lucas Betty A Johnson Hayes sentenced Sue Day Devils headed back to state golf tourney Earl R Fields Alberta L Steward Gregory Terry Linda Taylor Levies slated for November ballot Manchester residents forming neighborhood watch group West Union teachers receive prestigious award Crum arraigned in Brown County Common Pleas Court Seaman: A small town with a big heart and a family spirit Seaman Fall Festival again draws large crowds NAES participates in weekend food program AES Ohio Generation assumes control of DP&L assets West Union, Peebles take home county XC crowns Lady Devils win a soccer buzzer-beater Senior Profile: Brooklyn Wylie Lady Dragons move to districts Green Devils win sectional golf title West Union hosting fourth annual Alumni Volleyball Game Gray breaks Lady Indians’ single season goals record Senior Profile: Chase Cummings Lady Dragons cruise to SHAC title Hupp ties school record with five goals in Lady Devils’ win over Southeastern For 14th time in 15 years, Dragons claim SHAC Boys Golf Championship Getting life in order See those signals of the season Jury returns verdict in former Manchester police officer’s trial Larry Peters Gary L Hughes Sr Deanna L Parker Stephen R Fetters Bonnie Hawkins Clifton J DeMint Steven L Kimberlin When you just know The tradition of the Sunday dinner The emotions of leaving for college A hard habit to break Did it happen or did it not?

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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