David Kierzek Theresa C Davis Edward F Storer Ralph Rader DP&L to stick with planned closings Preventing tax season identity theft 4-H awards 11 local scholarships Peebles Elementary holds Spirit Week Humane Society to hold Radio Auction Local business partners find historical treasure in old bank building DP&L employees meet with union leadership GE-Peebles Test Operation joins the campaign about Distracted Driving North Adams Elementary recognizes February Students of the Month Senior Profile: Sydney Michael Stars will shine for the 34th annual C-103 All-Star Game NAHS Track/XC host Shamrock Shuffle 5K Associated Press names All-Southeast District Teams Senior Profile: Hannah Howard Nice to finally be a small part of March Madness The tractor has always been special Jimmy Nelson Kathryn Boldman James E Downs Manchester grad enjoys a “Super” Experience Taking Adams County patriotism to the state capitol John P Sininger Jo Ann Hayslip Harvey U Schrock Eunice G. Burgess Senior Profile: Kaulen St Michael Cox Racing returns to Brushcreek on April 2 Southern Hills Athletic Conference holds Winter Sports Awards ceremony County provides multiple walking venues Adams County parks are tobacco-free Rhoads Memorial 5K Run/Walk is April 9 Peebles Elem. Staff of the Month Floyd E Maddy Raymond A Holt Derrick Poe Spencer E McFarland Mintie F Rogers Roberta Eylar Big Time Wrestling coming to NAHS Carl Tomlin CTC students help with storm clean-up Opening the door for high-tech jobs Jack R Slyger Thomas Stratton Jr Eastern Lady Warriors headed to Final Four Senior Profile: Logan Rogers Southern Hills Athletic Conference names 2016-17 All-Conference Basketball Teams Winchester PD continues assault on drugs Alonso joins Defender staff Sheriff to set up outpost in Manchester Johnson named OEDA Membership Chairperson Sherman E Young Ruth Jackman ‘Kitten Season’ comes to Ohio Manchester Council votes to disband PD Olde Wayside Inn under new management Two overdose on heroin Senior Profile: Ethan Parrett Adams/Brown Youth League holds postseason tourney Three nights of pain Furious rally falls short, Lady Devils again eliminated in Div. III district finals, 45-42 Oscar Moore Barbara J Finnegan Ohio Senate and House honor Miss Ohio USA Michael Eldridge Frances Towner Thelma R Williamson BREAKING NEWS: Manchester council votes to eliminate police department Before all dogs go to heaven Adaptive Bikes delivered in Adams County Adams County Junior Fair Market Hog Identification plans announced for 2017 Local couple takes ownership of two local businesses Jo Hanson to retire after nearly 50 years in banking Sierra Club, hero or villain? Greyhounds, Devils are runners-up in SHAC Tournaments Harold L Purdin Senior Profile: Jacob Wickerham 98-year old author publishes first book Early March storm packs destructive punch Jeeps rally in second half to end the Peebles season How about some post season awards? Thanks for all the great sports coverage PHS Principal hopes to expand students’ world view When spring becomes a promise Greg Lorenz Clay shoots the lights out, shoots down Greyhounds’ season Senior Profile: Savannah McFarland Devils put up a good fight, but fall to Portsmouth in sectional final, 50-43 Second half comeback sends Lady Devils to district finals for third straight year Butts honored by Southeast District Athletic Board North Adams Elementary holds Random Acts of Kindness Week Chester W Eyre BREAKING NEWS: March makes its entrance with force WUES kicks off Right to Read Week with guest readers WUHS students see Aronoff show on the life of Edgar Allan Poe Local high school seniors winners of Wendy’s Heisman Awards

A Purple Heart for caregivers

Caring for someone with a terminal or chronic illness is like engaging in warfare. The enemy attacks without warning. Chaos, fear and anger ensue, and there’s a call to arms. Some enlist, some are drafted, but all lay down their lives to serve, leaving behind family, friends and dreams for a season. Some serve on the front lines while others provide support from a distance.

The war rages on, weeks turn into months, months into years, and many become home sick and even entertain deserting. But they remind themselves for whom, and for what, they are fighting and press on. Fatigue and stress take their toll and conflicts may break out in the ranks. Soldier turns against fellow soldier, forgetting they’re on the same side. Some suffer battle fatigue and are furloughed for a time. Most are wounded and left battle-scared in one form or another.

Those who are wounded in military service are presented the “Purple Heart.” We at Hospice honor you, caregivers, with a symbolic “Purple Heart” for laying down your lives for your family, loved ones and friends. Jesus declared, “Greater love has no man than this; that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13-14)

Homer raised all five of his adult sons on his own after his divorce. I was impressed with their love, affection and commitment to their father. They declared, “He stood by us and we’ll do anything for him.” But five months later conflicts broke out in the ranks. They, like so many families, forgot they were on the same side. Some were wounded by “friendly fire” and the family was divided and scattered. What happened? Where did it start? Could it have been prevented?

Looking back, I believe they allowed competition, jealousy and bitterness to take root. Criticism grew as understanding, patience and mutual support waned. Four of the sons began to question and criticize Jim and his wife, who were Homer’s primary caregivers. Jim, in self-defense, returned fire, “I did the best I could. I’m not perfect. Who needs it? I just feel like chucking the whole thing and just saying the heck with it.”

And so he did. He turned over the care of his father to the brother who was his main critic. Jim told him, “If you think you can do a better job, then be my guest!” After only two days of taking care of his father, Jim’s brother pleaded with Jim to, “Please come back.” It’s sure easy to criticize from a distance, isn’t it? According to a speech by President Theodore Roosevelt, “It’s not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.”

If you’re presently a caregiver or a family member of a chronically or terminally ill person, don’t allow competition and criticism to separate you. Pull and work together. Resist the urge to criticize from a distance, for those who serve don’t need a judge they need a friend, an ally. Remind yourself frequently that you’re on the same side; and that when it comes to relationships there’s no such thing as a winner and a loser. Either you all win or you all lose. Don’t let a fellow soldier fall. Cover them with a blanket of love, understanding and support.

If you’re a family whose war is over and you’ve been left scattered and divided, take heart, because it’s never too late to do what’s right. Learn from the rest of Homer’s story. During Homer’s funeral, the preacher opened the service by inviting anyone with something to share to step forward. One of Homer’s sons stepped forward with remarkable courage and addressed the crowd, “You know, me and my brothers aren’t talking to each other right now.” Then he looked squarely at his brothers and said, “We have to remember that it was the cancer that did it to us. We are brothers and dad wouldn’t want us to treat each other this way. I want all my brothers to know that I love them.” The other four brothers got up from their chairs, walked to the podium next to their father’s casket and all five embraced one another crying for several minutes. Words can’t describe how moved, inspired and challenged I was. If a funeral can be described as good thing, it was the best funeral I’ve ever attended.

“Let all bitterness, wrath, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:31-32)

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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Straight Paths

Loren Hardin

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