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 Operation Christmas Child begins Nov. 14 Mental Health levy on tomorrow’s ballot Wanda L. Nixon David Rogers Robert “Bobby” Leonard Keneth Waters Commissioner Worley seeks re-election Republican challenger vies for Commissioner’s seat Charles Cooper Thelma J White Kayleigh L Crothers AEP Ohio employees support Breast Cancer Awareness Month WUHS holds annual Beta Club and Honor Society inductions When Saturday mornings belonged to the kids of the house Senior Profile: Gloria Purdin Green-White Night, OHSAA Meeting at WUHS on Nov. 9
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‘And he said in his heart’

Sarah enrolled in hospice at age 85 with terminal cancer and was bedfast when we first met. She was a genteel type lady, refined, elegant and graceful, but her husband Victor was a short, stout rough-hewn Polish immigrant, who, on the flip-side, was very tender and attentive towards his wife. They were both highly intelligent and professionally accomplished, and had retired from a nearby nuclear energy facility. Sarah and Victor had no children but they had each other.

As I sat beside Sarah’s hospital bed I spotted a small spinet type electric piano against a wall near a window. It looked like an inexpensive beginner’s model. A collection of E-Z Play songbooks lined the ledge above the keyboard and a cardboard note guide straddled the keys. So I asked, “Who plays the piano?” and Sarah replied, “I started playing about two years ago. I always wanted to play the piano so I bought some E-Z Play songbooks and taught myself how to play. I did it just for us, not for anybody else. And Victor and I have had some marvelous times singing together. We’ve really enjoyed it.” Victor shook his head in affirmation as they smiled at one another.

Sarah and Victor remind me of my departed friend Ed, who was 90-years old when we met. Ed was the primary caregiver for Gladys, his deceased friend’s wife. Ed still did taxes for a limited number of clients;, he cared for his 65- year old developmentally disabled daughter, and he took her for an hour long drive in his little blue Ford Escort every night. Ed declared, “Barbie just loves to take rides.” Ed shared, “People are always telling me, ‘you’re too old to do that pops’ but I just keep it between the lines and I tell them, ‘I don’t count my birthdays I count my blessings. I still have a job to do.’ I think people get old before their time, because they get old in their minds.”

I’ve observed that there are defining moments in our lives, which are usually determined by defining statements from without and within. When God told Abraham that his 90- year old wife, Sara, was going to bear him a son, Abraham, “…fell on his face and laughed and said in his heart, ‘shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? “ (Genesis 17:17). The phrase, “and he said in his heart”, is repeated several times in the scriptures.

You know, we have to be careful what we “say in our heart”, because our self talk can become a defining statement and a defining moment. Wise old King Solomon understood this aspect of our human nature, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7)

What if Sarah would have said in her heart, “I’m 83 years old. I’m too old to learn how to play the piano. It’s too late to start something new. I don’t have that much time left.” What if Ed would have listened to those voices from without? Sarah and Ed would have become “old before their time.”

So I ask you, “Is there something new you want to start? Is there something you’ve started that you’d like to finish? Then I encourage you to do it while you can. “Don’t let it be etched on your tombstone, “died age 40, buried age 70.”

If Sara and Victor’s story inspires you to start something new or finish something you’ve started, I would love to hear about it. You can contact me at the email or phone number below.

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

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Loren Hardin

Straight Paths

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2016 People's Defender