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Meadowlark Hospice

Dawn's Notes

We All Need a Little Tug, Sometime - February 2020
by Dawn Phelps, RN/LMSW

Golf carts.  That’s how we get around in our park in Texas where we live in a small mobile home a few weeks during the winter.  Since parking spaces for cars are limited, golf carts are important for getting around in the park.  We bought our little house in Texas about two years ago.  It came with a small shed, furniture, appliances, pots and pans, dishes, towels and a much-older, red golf cart.  We only had to buy a few things, and we were ready to keep house!

Here’s how it works in the senior parks in Texas.  When an older couple chooses to no longer live in a park, they sell everything at a reasonable price and leave, taking only their clothes and a few personal items with them.  It is a nice arrangement for both parties. That’s how we bought our place. Our first year in Texas my husband Tom and I had a few minor challenges, such as getting the gas stove to light and getting our golf cart batteries charged.  But with the help of friends Tom finally got our golf cart going, and all was well until one evening when Tom and I were almost home from an event.  It was dark, and our cart began to move sloooower and sloooower, barely creeping down our lane toward our house.  Tom and I kept hoping our cart would make it the final few yards into our yard, but it just did not have enough umph, and it came to a final stop.  The batteries were dead!  So Tom had to push it the final few feet.  I was glad it was dark that evening; it was less embarrassing that way! After that, our little cart did well for a couple of weeks until one evening we decided to drive it to Winter Ranch, an adjoining park.  The parks are connected by little lanes so we did not have to drive our cart on the highway. 

As our cart moved along, we realized we were in trouble—it was the farthest distance we had ever driven our cart.  We crept along, sloooower and sloooower.  To save the batteries, Tom turned off the lights, and our golf cart coasted into a parking spot.  It stopped—again, the batteries were dead! We knew we had a problem.  It was too far to walk home, we didn’t want to leave the cart overnight, and we did not have a tow rope!  We were going to need some help! But thank goodness for our Nebraska friends and a Canadian man we had never met.  Somehow he located a tow rope.  While Tom and I were at the event, the cart sat, and the tired batteries rejuvenated just a little.  So the cart started, and we began our sloooow journey toward our park with our lights off. Even without lights, we still felt safe, snugly surrounded by friends.  Our friend Marshall led the way in his golf cart, and our cart was next.  Other Nebraska friends were in a car to our left side, and the Canadians followed in a vehicle behind us. 

We felt like we had our own Secret Service escort.  Our entourage moved very sloooowly, yard by yard, until we made it back into our park, near the entrance, but not yet home.  Our cart slowed to a dead stop, out of “juice,” crosswise right in the middle of the street at the main gate, no lights, with cars coming and going out of the gate! Seeing the danger, Marshall jumped out of his cart in front of us.  He quickly hooked the tow rope onto our front bumper and manually pulled our cart across the intersection.  Next, he hooked the rope onto his golf cart and started slowly tugging us toward our lane.  Even though we were in a predicament, the situation was also humorous, and Tom and laughed as we were pulled along! After a right turn onto Grand Prize Lane, we were soon in our front yard.  The tow rope was disconnected, and there were thanks yous and good nights.  Then the Canadian man took his tow rope, and our friends were on their way home.  What a scary, yet memorable evening! 

Since that dark night, Tom and I have laughed as we remember being pulled to safety by a tow rope provided by a stranger, surrounded by an entourage of friends.  What would we have done without them, at 10:00 at night, in the dark, with no flashlight, no tow rope, and no way to get home? That night reminded me of what I felt like after my husband died.  I felt like I was all alone, in the dark, in a strange place, without a light to help me find my way.  It was then that God sent an entourage of friends to help me, some I did not even know. 

I am still thankful for those who were there to give me a little tug, to pull me along, until I could get my own “batteries” charged so I could make it on my own.   So if you need help, even if you are embarrassed, don’t be afraid to ask someone to help you.  After all, we all need a little tug, sometime.

Call about the next "Living Life after Loss" Group at:
Meadowlark Hospice
709 Liberty, Clay Center, Kansas
(785) 632-2225
Dawn Phelps, RN/LMSW, Group Facilitator