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Life's twists and turns

Posted Tuesday, August 21, 2012, at 1:00 PM

Life takes many unexpected turns and twists.

We travel along, the road is straight and smooth.

Then we suddenly hit a bump or a big boulder.

We didn't see it coming and we may not know how to handle it.

Some of those twists leave us shaking in our boots.

If it's a serious illness, we ask, "Why me?"

We see others around us going about their usual business, unharmed. They seem happy while we aren't. Why have we been singled out?

We can't see around the curve into the future and we wonder what it holds. Especially if we are going through some bad times.

A friend of mine, married for over 50 years, had her life altered when her husband had a severe stroke. He was bedfast, dependent for his every need. For over a year, my friend's life centered around taking care of him, night and day. It was a real struggle, emotionally and physically. Finally, she had to hire someone to help her during daytime hours. She just couldn't physically hold up any longer. Then, a double dilemma came when my friend's husband was diagnosed with cancer.

She telephoned from time to time to let me know how things were going. She was upbeat but I knew her husband's illness was taking its toll. It was a difficult time for the family.

Hospice was called in; the husband died. That was a few years ago.

She settled in as a widow, taking care of household duties and enjoying her two grandchildren.

Last week she called again. Her life had taken a twist. A longtime military friend had phoned during Hurricane Katrina to check on her welfare. After that, there were many long distance conversations. Eventually the friendship turned into a romance. He was a widower, but he and his wife had been acquainted with my friend and her husband, years ago.

While my friend was caring for her husband, she could never have foreseen her life would take such a turn down the road.

People's lives are altered in various ways, through a death, divorce, catastrophic illness.

A husband or wife decides they no longer want to be married. Divorce causes drastic changes, often leaving bitterness and disappointment, especially if there has been a betrayal.

Changes are sometimes good. The birth of a long awaited baby can cause immense joy. But a surprise pregnancy can bring a negative response in an already overburdened mother.

A friend of mine was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Her life is changing as she prepares for chemotherapy and radiation. She didn't expect such news following a mammogram. But it happened.

One thing is sure. If we live long enough, there will be changes.

We weren't promised a rose garden anyway.

Even with the beauty of roses, there are thorns.

We do have the promise that He will be with us, always, even through the twists and turns.

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From these hills
By Peggy Johnson
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