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Treasured Moments

He is unresponsive. Imminently dying, they say. He has already been visited by other chaplains over the course of his stay, the priest has been called for Anointing of the Sick. His grown children gather around his bed and we hold hands… I lead a prayer for peaceful transitions, for healing, for comfort. The family weeps openly. I offer to sing Amazing Grace, they nod their heads, blow their noses. I sing. Dad opens his eyes and locks his gaze with mine. When I finish singing a second verse, he smiles. “That was nice! Thank you!” He exclaims. His family is surprised. He hasn’t been speaking for a while now. I pull out a Jesus card, cut it, fold it. I hand it to Dad, who smiles broadly and exclaims “Beautiful!” It is art. It is music. It is presence. It is prayer. It is a (last) moment this family will treasure forever.