Sunday, February 10, 2013


I saw my friend, Audye, at the Plum Ridge care center this afternoon. Audye is an aging Baptist preacher who has no less than eleven stents in his heart, carefully and lovingly placed there over several years, to allow vital blood flow – or else he'd be gone long ago.

This afternoon Audye was sitting up in his wheelchair. He was perkier and pinker than a few days ago when he was bedridden with a scruffy short beard and mussed hair, mumbling one word answers to me and the nutritionist. But today he was clean shaven with his thick, well-groomed hair (I always envied his hair). I asked who gave him a shave, and I loved his answer.

His eyes widened and his smiled broadened and he began to go on about "this nice Christian Mexican girl. She was just amazing," Audye said.

Donna called while I was there, and he went on to tell his wife about the "tremendous" shave he received from the young lady. After a loving, dewy-eyed goodbye, he handed me the phone and told me how much he appreciated that young woman, and the bit of fellowship they had as she combed his unruly locks and gave him a good clean shave.

And this is the part I really love. "It was like Thanksgivin'," he said, in his deep Texan drawl (with his emphasis on "thanks").

After reading scripture to him from the sermon on the mount (Matt 6:25-34), and saying a prayer, I spoke to a cluster of nurses and CNAs in the hall, telling them how much Audye appreciated the young woman who gave him a shave. "Oh," said nurse Amanda. "That was Carla." They all smiled. "She's really nice. We'll be sure and tell her."

Somewhere in Klamath Falls, Oregon there's a Hispanic nursing home employee named Carla who made a shave feel like Thanksgiving to my friend Audye.

Thank you, Carla!

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