When Jim Jameson’s glasses were lost, nobody took the loss very seriously.  After all, Jim was in Hospice care.  Since time was running out on his life, the prevailing attitude was that his glasses weren’t necessary.

Earl Howe thought differently.  He hustled around until new glasses were crafted for Jim.  Jim was delighted that he could again watch TV, and see his family and visitor’s faces.

The above story is from James Kok, in his wonderful book, The Miracle of Kindness.

James Kok says, “I remember visiting a 103-year-old woman once and found her reading a novel.  It struck me as an important lesson:  people are alive and can value pleasure, adventure, beauty, until their last breath.” Earl Howe realized this when he saw to it that Jim Jameson was equipped again for the pleasures of life, even though his physical life was near its end.

Here is my reflection on this story: It is so easy to reduce folks, on the basis of their looks or their diagnosis.  The very aged, especially, can be dehumanized because of their bodily weakness and sagging attractiveness.  The very sick can be neglected because it appears they don’t have long to live.

Karen Mulder

Karen Mulder

Karen Mulder is the founder of the Wisdom of the Wounded ministry. She lives in Holland, Michigan with her husband Larry.

1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

    What you say is true. It’s very easy to ignore somebody who is slumped over in a chair with his head down. It takes a little courage to speak to that person and assume that what you say will bring some kind of joy to them. Thanks for the reminder to assume people need to be recognized and given the opportunity to make contact with others. Essentially, we are alive, until we are dead!

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