Geneva E Vogler Susan L Kremin Local golf teams complete play at state tournament Lady Dragons make school history with tournament win Browning gets hands-on look at NASA’s latest robotics Local beautician celebrates 80th birthday Health Department appeals to November voters Betty R Toller Senior Profile: Craig Horton Helen F Hoffer Super Saturday at Freedom Field Lady Dragons hang on for five-set victory over Manchester Seventh Grade Lady Hounds are SHAC Tournament champions Peebles Elementary announces September Students of the Month Rideout’s Muffler celebrating 40th anniversary this month Senior Citizens levy will appear on November ballot Bonnie J Orr Dorothy M Edenfield Senior Profile: Grace Barge Jerry Paquette Dragons get big 38-20 win at Green Manchester takes varsity team titles at West Union Invitational Lady Devils knock off Peebles on Volley For the Cure Night Manhunt ends with arrest of alleged bank robber Senior Profile: Kelsey Friend Lady Dragons finish as District Runners-Up Sectional pairings announced for volleyball and soccer 2 and 3 and worried is me Patricia Clift Adams County Humane Agent saves abandoned dogs and puppies Tourism had major economic impact on Adams County in 2015 Senator Portman brings his campaign to Adams County Betty E Lawson Sanborn NAHS holds National Honor Society induction ceremonies Harlan W Benjamin Joyce A Lafferty Senior Profile: Lee Hesler Dragons get SHAC win, 2-1 over Fairfield North Adams tops Peebles in ‘Kickin Cancer’ battles Double duty coming at Boys’ State Golf Tournament as West Union and North Adams both qualify Humane Society providing ‘Straws For Paws’ North Adams Elementary honors students and staff Russell Rockwell Julie L Wagner Hobert C Robinson Samuel D McClellan Brenda S Bare Clarencce Walker Jr Dolly M Hilterbrandt Jack Roush Day returns to Manchester West Union FFA has busy opening to school year ODOT opens new full-service Maintenance Facility Peebles Elementary introduces Peer Mentoring program Frost is recipient of Morgan Memorial Scholarship Peebles Fire Department has a new addition Heritage Days return to Tranquility Wheat Ridge Olde Thyme Herb Fair and Harvest Festival begins Friday Caraway Farm hosts annual Pumpkin Festival ‘Run Gio’ makes a visit to Adams County Senior Profile: Mackenzie Smith West Union, North Adams grab top two spots in Division III golf sectional tournament This memory will live with me forever Will M Stern West Union and North Adams-State Bound! Lillian N Smith Betty R Shelton Barbara ER Bohl Brenda Farley Senior Profile: Caitlyn Bradford Dragons roar to 40-0 Homecoming victory Greyhounds take three of four races at annual Adams County Meet Monarch Meadows holds grand opening Discovering a touch of glass on Erie’s Shores Junior L Conaway William B Brumley Sr Fred G Davis Ohio Valley FFA Officers for 2016-17 named ACRMC Emergency Care Center renamed after Dr. Bruce Ashley West Union holds football Homecoming festivities First graders pick the Sheriff Cross honored by ODNR with the prestigious Cardinal Award Renowned Ohio artist visits WUHS Don and Venita Bowles named 2016 Outstanding Fair Supporters PES students part of new Lego League Ferno donates $2,500 to OVCTC From the cistern to the city water Basketball officiating class being offered in October Peebles rolls by West Union in straight sets Par for the course, Dragons sweep SHAC Golf titles Greyhounds hang on late for first win of 2016 season You have to understand the process to understand the job Alex K Miller Ann E Campbell Scott N Atkinson Senior Profile: Tyler Fowler Martin named to All-Tourney Team in North/South Battlefield Classic 200 years on the banks of the Ohio, in a little town called Moscow Edwin P Prince ACRMC Emergency Care Center renamed after Dr. Bruce Ashley Volleyball teams honor young cancer patient

You left me in town

I’m not writing about a hospice patient this week, but about my father-in-law, Dave, about care giving. Dave garnered respect by his mere presence. He was one of the most honest, sincere, and generous men I’ve ever known. He wasn’t a people pleaser. He was the same with everyone, rich or poor, and he attracted both.

Dave worked years as a correctional officer until he opened his used car lot. But Dave defied the stereotype of a used car salesman. I was loafing around the car lot one day when a young girl came in the office and asked, “Mr. Flinders, how much do you want for that orange Opal GT?” Dave replied, “Honey, you don’t want that car. It needs too many repairs. I can’t sell that car to you.” She insisted but Dave refused. I couldn’t believe my ears. Did he really say what I thought he said? In my opinion, he lived up to his nickname of “Big Hearted Dave” that day.

Dave was a free-spirited dreamer, but his dreams came crashing down with his first stroke in 1989, at age 60, followed by a series of strokes all contributing to his death on March 13, 2003. Dave’s first stroke affected him primarily mentally or cognitively, and he literally tried to “walk it off.” But successive strokes were physically devastating, resulting in inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient physical therapy, Home Health Care, walkers and wheelchairs, hospital beds and bedside commodes. My mother-in-law, Nita, managed Dave’s personal care on her own, until the day arrived when it took two people to transfer him from his bed to his wheelchair, from his wheelchair to the bedside commode. So my wife, Susie and I had to step it up a notch. Susie was an only child who admired her father and I played a minor role compared to Nita and Susie. They were the truly loving and faithful ones.

We were zealous about our roles as caregivers in the beginning, but as the months and years wore on we wore down, 14 years of care giving. During the last year and a half of Dave’s life, Susie and I had to go to the house three times a day, seven days a week. I hate to admit it, but sometimes it felt like I had an eight hour long leash around my neck and I became resentful and irritable at times and then I would feel guilty about the way I felt. I wanted to believe that I was a better man than that, but I wasn’t.

I’m reminded of the Jews asking John the Baptist, “Who are you?”, and him replying, “I’m not the Christ” (John 1:19-20). Well, neither are we. We’re just human with human limitations. I kept beating myself up for the way I felt, until one day it dawned on me, “If I liked this there would have to be something wrong with me.” I’m not doing it because I like it, I’m doing it because that’s what my family needs from me.

One spring day, while at work, the stress finally got to me. I thought, “I have to get out of here. I’ll drive out to the forest. Maybe I’ll feel closer to God there.” So I took the afternoon off and drove to Picnic Point, one of my favorite lookouts. It was a beautiful clear day. I could barely see the Ohio-Kentucky bridge at the western edge of town; about ten miles away, “as the crow flies.”

After some time sitting and praying on a split-log bench I said to myself, “I don’t feel any closer to God than I did before.” I thought, “Maybe I’ll feel closer to God if I hike through the forest.” But God still seemed distant. I returned to my split-log bench in despair. As I gazed upon the bridge at the edge of town, that “still small voice” (I Kings 19:12), whispered to me, “You left me in town. You’ll find me where the needs are. You’ll find me in your father-in-law’s bedroom, next to his bedside commode.” So, I high-tailed it back to town.

We all feel like running away at times don’t we? Whether it’s from the challenges, pressures and responsibilities of parenting, work, school, marriage, or just trying to make ends meet. Scott Peck in his book, “The Road Less Traveled” suggested that when we attempt to escape responsibility that we escape freedom. But I think it’s much more than that. I think when we seek to escape responsibility we estrange ourselves from the very presence, power and strength of God, for we’ll find God where the needs are.

But at the same time, it’s important to understand and accept that we’re only human, and that there’s a difference between “giving up” and “wearing out.” After all, “We’re not Jesus.” After my mother-in-law moved in with us, I asked my wife, “How long do you think we can keep doing this?” And Susie replied, “When it gets all consuming.” Then I asked, “How will you know when it’s all consuming?” and she responded, “Oh, I’ll know.” You see, no one can tell us when we’ve reached our limits, only we know when we’ve “left it all on the court.” There will come times when we have.

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

Straight Paths

Loren Hardin

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