what do you do if you’re a 95 year-old man

living with your daughter?

why, you cook her supper two nights a week!!


so, when you’re in the hospital for therapy

and you’re wanting to do something fun

making peanut butter cookies sounds like

your kind of therapy


Mr. 95-Year-Old had a busy afternoon

mixing and shaping and baking

the perfectly perfect pretty peanutty pleasures

but his real pleasure came when we decided to wheelchair ride

up and down

over and through

all over the hospital

plate of cookies in his lap

offering to one and all employees

“would you like a cookie? they’re just out of the oven”


when all the cookies were gone, he said

this has been the best day

it has been so much fun

do you think we missed anybody?

I want to make sure we didn’t leave anybody out


the wistful glimmer in those faded eyes

as he worried over not leaving anyone out

stays in my memory still


it is more blessed to give than to receive


It’s been some years now since I cared for this patient, but I remember how agog I was when he told me he cooked a full supper for his daughter two nights a week. When I questioned him as to the menu, he reeled off “meatloaf, mashed potatoes, butterbeans, cornbread” and such as that. And usually a dessert!!

As I sat there on that first visit in his room and chit-chatted with this most pleasant man, I reflected on the blessings I received out of getting to know my patients. You stare at them and listen to them and you realize that perhaps you are looking at your own self some fifty years in the future. There is nothing like healthcare to make one realize the brevity, beauty, and sadness in life. All that’s wonderful and horrible in life is right there in front of you.

The postscript to this little story is this. Within just a week, the patient’s body systems started failing, and he died. The peanut butter cookie day was one of his last good days, and I’m thankful that he got so much pleasure out of something that we younger and healthier people might take for granted…baking cookies and sharing them with others.

And let’s don’t take our youth and health for granted, either.


  1. jgarrott says:

    At 65, I’m already older than my father was when he died. Since I teach medical personnel (nurses and therapists) I have a lot of association with medical problems. As a pastor, I have been at the side of numbers of people when they have died, and many more in their hospitalization. With all of that, I can’t help but agree with what you have written!

    • mrshate says:

      Thank you so very much for your thoughtful comment. I was just skimming over your first blog posts, and I would not be at all surprised if the Lord led me to your blog through this post. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      You might enjoy reading a post of mine from back in early April…”That’s Between You and the Lord…How to Come Alive Two Weeks Before You Die”. I had so many wonderful experiences with my patients!!

      “Fixing”, as we say down South, to follow your blog!! πŸ™‚

      • jgarrott says:

        Thanks so much for the follow. I need to warn you that I don’t post every day, even though I write every day. My wife edits my devotional notes, for clarity and to be sure personal references don’t violate confidentiality, and she can’t get to that every day. May the Lord indeed bless you through what He allows me to write.

  2. mrshate says:

    Amen, and bless your wife for being a helper πŸ™‚

    I will share your blog with my family.

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