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Meadowlark Hospice

Dawn's Notes

No View Beyond Hill - January 2015
by Dawn Phelps, RN/LMSW

“Did you see that sign?” I asked my brother Gary as we wound our way along a narrow, hilly, curvy road not far from Mayfield, Kentucky, this past year. He and I were on our way to Tennessee to visit two of our sisters, one who was very sick.

Gary had seen the sign too, and the words proved to be descriptive of the road ahead. The sign said “No view beyond hill,” and we only had a short time to wonder what was ahead of us, to think about what might be on the other side. We were soon heading up a hill so steep that we could only see the hood of the car and blue sky directly in front of us.

We topped the hill, looking straight up into heaven, then the nose of the car pointed sharply downward on the other side of the hill, down the steep hill instead of up. There were no big surprises on the other side, just more hilly, curvy, narrow highways with woods on both sides.

Our brief anticipation of the unknown was quickly over, and as Gary and I headed on toward Mayfield, I told my brother, “There’s a lesson in that sign. We really don’t know what is beyond the next hill in life.”

The experience left both of us with memories that we shared with my husband Tom on our next trip to Tennessee for our family reunion the first week of June. During that trip, the three of us had some unexpectedly tense seconds while driving through St. Louis, an experience that reminded us that we don’t know what is around the next curve, over the next hill, or right on the highway in front of us.

The St. Louis traffic was thick with four lanes of vehicles traveling about 70 miles per hour. Our daughter Misty and our four grandchildren were following us a few cars back when suddenly a car to our far left went out of control with a blown-out tire, turning sidewise in the lane to its right. Literally within seconds, tires were screeching all around us as drivers crammed their brakes and swerved to the right to avoid vehicles that were in their lanes, a horizontal domino effect.

When Tom slammed on the brakes, our tires screeched as the brakes locked. Almost as if in slow motion, I remember seeing the bumper of the car in front of us getting closer. I thought there was no way we could miss the car! But instead of crashing into the car in front of us, our car swung sideways into the right lane, missing the car in front of us. Fortunately there was no car in the outside lane.

After it was over, I immediately called my daughter Misty to make sure they were all right. They were fine, but they had been worried when they caught a glimpse of our black vehicle turning sideways in the highway, wondering if we were okay. In retrospect we realized that somehow we had narrowly missed being involved in a multi-car pileup. The event had happened so quickly that I barely had time to pray, and the “almost” pileup was over in seconds—a miracle no one wrecked! We were shaken and thankful, convinced that God had His hand our vehicle and others that day.

In life we never know what is beyond the next hill or around the next curve on the Road of Life. Life has twists and turns, ups and downs—accidents, health issues, and unexpected challenges. As you begin a new year, you may face some difficult times without the one you love. Grieving is not easy, and loneliness may set in, especially during the winter months.

After a loss, life may feel scary, and you may feel like there is “No view beyond hill” without the one you love. But have faith that life will also have some good things over the next hill, waiting just for you—things do not always turn out badly.

Life itself is a gift, and you are here for a purpose. So just hang on and try to believe that good things are waiting for you. Dare to make plans to do things you enjoy during the next year. Dream a new dream. I wish you healing, health, and joy in 2015.

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