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At first, I thought I was looking at the wrong chart

cropped view of african american grandfather holding hands with little granddaughter
LightFieldStudios/Getty Images/iStockphoto

The patient in front of me looked like she was in her 40s, but the chart said she was 66. Just to be sure, I ask her age.

"I'm 66," she said, "but my children keep me looking young." She giggled like a schoolgirl.

I was curious now. "How many children do you have?"

"16, 11 girls and 5 boys."

"Oh my," I said. "I'd like to meet their father."

"Well, I had eight by my first husband and eight by my second."

"I guess you've spent most of your life taking care of children?" I asked.

"Yes, sir," she said, nodding. "That and working in the fields."

"So you worked on a farm?" I ask.

"I picked cotton most of my life until the boss bought a cotton picking machine. That knocked me out."

"It sounds to me like you've had a pretty hard life," I said.

"No, sir," Mary replied immediately. "I've had a good life. God has been good to me."

So what would it take for you and me to look on life the way Mary does? To take what most people would see as hardship and turn it into believing that "God has been good to me." If Mary can do it, then so can you and I.

This is Dr. Scott Morris for Church Health.

Dr. G. Scott Morris, M.D., M.Div, is founder and CEO of Church Health, which opened in 1987 to provide quality, affordable health care for working, uninsured or underserved people and their families. In FY2021, Church Health had over 61,300 patient visits. Dr. Morris has an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia, a Master of Divinity degree from Yale University, and M.D. from Emory University. He is a board-certified family practice physician and an ordained United Methodist minister.