”I Just Didn’t Want To Hear Any More Bad News…”

A doctor making a serious expressionGathered in the parking lot of my hometown church, family and friends were “catching up” with each other before leaving the annual “Homecoming” service and dinner.

While in the parking lot, I overheard a conversation between two cousins. One was sharing that she had attended two funerals the day before, and her husband had been ill for several months. Caring for her husband, maintaining a full-time job outside the home, and responding to the needs of her adult children and grandchildren had taken their toll on her physically and emotionally. She also commented that she was experiencing back pain but decided it was only arthritis.

In this cultural context, arthritis is a minor, recurring and mostly annoying pain that is associated with aging. She had recently celebrated her 51st birthday. Her cousin asked if she had gone to see the doctor about the pain in her back, and she replied, “No, I just didn’t want to hear any more bad news.”