Gum Drops

Every day she has bowls of candy in her room at the hospice place. There is always one filled with gum drops, but today there was one with pumpkin candies too. She’s not the typical hospice patient, although she came to us 2 months ago appearing to be on death’s door, she clearly is not. She’s in her 80’s, uses a walker to get around, but looks like she’s got at least another 6 months to go. 

She offers me a gum drop and then says, “I’m trying to cut back, limiting myself to just 3 gumdrops a day. One in the morning, one at lunch and one before bed, 4 a day was just too much”  She is very serious but it’s hard not to smile.  “How did you know 4 was too much?” I ask. “Well” she hesitates “it was the noises my body was making, and someone told me once the noise was from eating too much sugar.”  I certainly wasn’t going to challenge her logic.  “You know” she continues, “When I first got here, I really let myself go, eating a couple gumdrops at a time…I should have known better.  Life is good now that I’m down to 3” And with that we move on to talk about other things.

Part of me wants to convince her to let loose, eat what she wants, she’s on hospice for goodness sake! But I also recognize her joy in self-restraint. Perhaps it is in limiting herself that she relishes the tiny sugar covered jelly candy all the more?  When I left the room, I took with me her gift of one gum drop.  More as a reminder to me that life’s not always about how much more I CAN have, but how much is enough for me.  Maybe just 3 gumdrops a day is enough : )

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