Posted by: Beth | July 27, 2022


Perhaps you can relate to one or more of the following scenarios.

You are choosing a checkout line at the local department store.  Every line has six or eight people, except one.  For some crazy, unknown reason there are only two people in that line and neither cart is overflowing.  Of course you choose the shortest line!  And then customer service is called.  The issue is resolved.  The customer attempts to pay.  The card doesn’t work.  It takes a while for the person to realize he is not getting out of the store with the desire merchandise.  He does, however, have some cash and has the cashier void all but four items.  Whew!  Finally, that’s done.  The next person has only a few items.  You should be out of here in minutes.  But, no!  Two items do no have valid tags.  Of course this is realized one item at a time and everyone waits on price checks from two departments.  Meanwhile, that eighth person in three of the other lines are heading out the door.  And you’re still stuck waiting for a chance to pay.  Tough luck, buddy.  You were dealt an icky hand.

For the first time in you life, you buy a lottery ticket.  It’s not the big bucks, but it is $5000.  Woo-hoo!!  Lucky hand that day.

You’re a college freshman registering for classes.  You need three or four 100-level classes.  Only one is available.  Why?  Juniors and Seniors, who get to register first, filled them up because when they where freshmen, the classes were full.  This is a so-so hand.  You get some electives out of the way and take those classes when you’re a Junior.  It’ll work out sometime in the next three years.

Your parent is diagnosed with cancer.  The survival rate is 85%.  Within a few months, your parent is dead.  This is a (fill in with a bad, bad adjective) hand.

Your sister is diagnosed with a cancer with a 5% survival rate.  She lives another ten years with minimal side-effects.  Woo-hoo!  A winning hand!

You live in the South.  It snows eight inches on January 3 and the temperatures stay near freezing for a week.  If you’re a child near a hill, this is a 5-star hand!  If you’re a parent ready for your children to get back into school, maybe it’s a 2-star hand; you do enjoy the snow a little.  If you’re an emergency response worker, this is overtime.  This is a tired hand.

You’re an 18-year-old male.  You answer the house phone.  (Yes, there was a time when each house had ONE phone and everybody living there shared it.  And it was tied to the wall with a wire.)  No matter who is calling, they think you are your mother when you say “Hello.”  This is a frustrated will-my-voice-EVER-change hand.

Sometimes we have some control over the hands we’re dealt in life.  More often, we do not. But always, “You gotta play the hand you’re dealt.”

For people living with long-term health problems (physical, mental, or emotional), the hand is complicated.  The top picture shows a few hands of cards.  Hopefully you’ll recognize at least one.  Below is a picture of the hand of folks struggling with health issues of themselves or their children.  Some of them seem strange?  I hope so. Can you imagine playing your favorite card game with this hand?  Navigating life can be complicated in the best of circumstances.  When life deals a much-less-than-ideal hand, it’s even more challenging.  Let us all extend a little more grace to those around us.  Some of us are still trying to figure out which game the cards belong to.


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