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Lamentations of a poet with an affliction

Buzz Floyd, a one-time Clarksburg resident and an e-mail buddy, sent me a rather clever poem that seems to make a lot of practical sense. Rather than spill out its subject matter and objective, please read it. The title is "A Final Diagnosis."

Thought I'd let my doctor check me,

'Cause I didn't feel quite right ...

All those aches and pains annoyed me

And I couldn't sleep at night.

He could find no real disorder

But he wouldn't let it rest.

What with Medicare and Blue Cross,

We would do a couple tests.

To the hospital he sent me

Though I didn't feel that bad.

He arranged for them to give me

Every test that could be had.

I was fluoroscoped and cystoscoped,

My aging frame displayed.

Stripped, on an ice cold table,

While my gizzards were X-rayed.

I was checked for worms and parasites,

For fungus and the crud,

While they pierced me with long needles

Taking samples of my blood.

Doctors came to check me over,

Probed and pushed and poked around,

And to make sure I was living

They then wired me for sound.

They have finally concluded,

Their results have filled a page.

What I have will someday kill me;

My affliction is old age.

I suppose that I could add a few gripes of my own about old age, other than physical ailments -- such as the way people over the ancient age of 50 are no longer regarded in the workplace as wise, experienced and able to handle much of what is called for in their respective positions -- but I think I'll pass on that subject for now.

n n n

Is it any wonder that so many people have such cynical views toward church and the clergy today? I heard about a situation just last week at the funeral of a good friend of mine, so allow me to air my views about this. (You may remember last year when I spoke of the disrespect for the dead that was exhibited by motorists when they cut into a funeral procession on I-79.)

It seems that at a graveside service for my friend, the officiating pastor was extremely negative and dwelled on the individual's problem with alcoholism without mentioning the recently departed's life, his kindness to others, his wit and unique sense of humor. The emphasis was only on his weaknesses.

How callous and unfeeling that minister was!

True, alcoholism is not a good thing and should be discouraged at all times. But at a graveside service, what good was such railing and "carrying on" by the pastor going to do for the deceased and, especially, his two children and loved ones? They could only stand by helplessly and listen while their dad was belittled.

Please, pastors, continue to preach the Gospel. But in such situations, also exercise some compassion -- and common sense!

Exponent and Telegram Editor Bob Stealey can be reached by phone at (304) 626-1438, or by e-mail at rstealey@exponent-telegram.com

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