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 Adams 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 The emotions of a senior year Market Hog Clinic scheduled for March 4 Venture Hawks fall to Scioto County Senior Profile : Colton Thornburg Lady Dragons’ season ends with sectional loss to Lynchburg Devils advance in tourney with convincing win over West Union, will face Portsmouth for sectional title Wenstrup selected as Vice Chairman of House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee Adams County 4-H Shooting Sports to hold fund raiser Linda M Howland Nellie B Hayslip Russell E Bailey Gladys M Perdue Commissioners meet in Columbus with DP&L CEO Tom Raga Missing the Dirtrollers The farms that aren’t forgotten Flora Hilderbran Commissioners to meet with DP&L officials New state graduation requirements called a ‘train wreck’ Catching up with Keller Senior Profile: Justin Knechtly Piketon size is too much for Lady Indians, Peebles falls in sectional finals Greyhounds grab Senior Night win Indians finish regular season riding six-game winning streak

‘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