Joe L Easter William E Foster Margaret Belcher John M Cheatham Ronnie Simpson Under new management county hospital is thriving against all odds Historic fairground gazebo demolished One year later, still no arrests in Rhoden family murders There will be trouble in River City! Monna L Fitzgerald Jesse Carrington Janice M Sowards Rhoden family members make plea for tips in Pike Co murders of loved ones Quilting – the art that’s no longer just for Grandma Young is Adams County recipient of Franklin B. Walter All-Scholastic Award Wenstrup recognized as Community Health Advocate Ready, set, go! 25th annual Egg Hunt draws hundreds Applicants needed for Adams County Fair Queen Humane Society encourages responsible animal ownership ACCS holds annual Science Fair Peebles Elementary names March Students of the Month Pierce fires perfect game as Peebles blanks West Union Hunters preparing for 2017 Wild Turkey Season Lady Hounds fall 12-3 at Lynchburg Dragons lose early lead, drop SHAC match up with Fayetteville, 13-6 Senior Profile: Isaiah Anderson Devils roll to big SHAC win at Ripley Despite soggy night, WUHS hosts annual Invitational Meet Celebrities for a night George F Carr Jr Teresa S Hoskins Mary B McClure Richard B Collins Randall D Fetters Former Manchester officer indicted on five counts WUHS student wins state Beta Club Secretary’s seat OVCTC students part of state competition S.R. 73 closed for culvert replacement Peebles Lions Club holds first Easter Egg Hunt Weyrich graduates with honors from Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics North Adams Elementary releases Honor Roll for Third grading Period Scholarships available from Jefferson Alumni Olympic athlete speaks at April 6 SAAM event Venture Hawks end their basketball season with a victory at WUHS Devils baseball sweeps doubleheader from Northwest Greyhounds gain SHAC split, split twinbill with East England signs with Rio Grande golf Pierce fans 16, Lady Indians blank Eastern Brown 4-0 Maybe somebody on the river does have a plan Senior Profile: Ryan Dryden Enjoying the view Still a time for celebration Carl R Brown Lena R Staggs Adams County Crews Schedule Culvert Replacement Projects Merlan Shoemaker Dwayne E Thompson Help is on the line! West Union Elementary honors February Students of the Month WUHS hosts 2017 All-County Arts and Music Festival Ohio Brush Creek Canoe/Kayak Access Grand Opening set for April 20 Kasich cracks down on opiate-based prescriptions West Union High School students have successful trip to State Beta Convention North Adams Beta Club excels at State Convention ACRMC hosts annual Health Fair Robert H Bushman Senior Profile: Skylar Newman Nine-run inning leads Lady Hounds to run rule win over West Union WUHS foursome breaks school record First county baseball battle goes to the Greyhounds On the road, Lady Indians pick up two more SHAC victories Senior Profile: Christa Williams One more ‘shining moment’ for SHAC seniors at C103 All-Star Game Esie M Chandler Phyllis Adkins Former Manchester police deputy faces Grand Jury Indictments Cornell tosses no-hitter, Fenton goes deep, Dragons open season with 11-0 SHAC win over Whiteoak New Verizon store opening in West Union Stephen R Palmer Dual culvert replacements for SR 73 Deana P Grooms Tim Phipps Marcella Walker Alvin R Mitchum Senior Profile: Chase Darnell SHAC hoopsters shine at District 14 All-Star Game Greyhounds run rule St. Pat, 15-0 Indians drop SHAC opener West Union hosts early JH Track Meet North Adams student wins state Beta Club President’s seat Anna B Copas Charles A Nelson Nation’s #1 movie comes to stage Artectis hosts grand opening Waiting for the ax to fall, who’s to blame? WU Seniors going to State Sci. Fair Peebles Elem. releases Honor Roll Finding the strength to endure They fought for us Born and raised “free range”

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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