Going Over the Hill

It has happened all too often lately.  I open my email or look on Facebook and learn about someone I know who has passed on.  Recently, a high school friend, John Artz, passed away.  I recall when we played together on the Antioch Junior High School football team together.  On one play, John and I wound up side by side in the corner of the end zone when another friend, Alan Brown (the quarterback) threw a pass to that corner.  John and I went up for it at the same time, but John jumped just a fraction of a second sooner and he came down with the pass.  I can still see it as clear as a bell in my mind’s eye.  I didn’t really mind – we needed the score – and John and I remained friends thereafter.

Today came word that Michael Duncan Clark, 54 years of age, died.  You may remember him best as the convicted killer John Coffey in the movie The Green Mile with Tom Hanks.  Clark played an enormous man – who had a very gentle spirit and the ability to heal.  He apparently suffered a heart attack back in July and never was really able to recover.

I also recently received news about a former employee of mine, Sandra, who had a massive coronary at 52 years of age and is now gone.

Today’s picture reminds me of the fragility and passing of life.  There are those of us who are going over the hill and down into the valley (as King David put it in Psalm 23, “the valley of death”), and there are some left here, staring wistfully after them as they depart.

I wasn’t thinking about that when I shot today’s picture, but it struck me this afternoon as I was looking at the picture after receiving word about Michael Duncan Clark’s passing.  There are days that I feel like the elk in the foreground, watching people who I know and love going down into the valley.  And I miss them.  It is an inevitable migration that we must all make sooner or later.

Someday, someone will stare after me.  I hope that when they do, they will have fond memories and will recall me kindly.  I wish the same for you, too.

Watching the inevitable migration…

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: Pope John Paul I was installed as the 264th pope of the Catholic church.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: the “last meal” of a condemned person on death row is part of American death-penalty ritual.  Here are some of the final meal requests: 1) John Wayne Gacy had fried chicken and strawberries; 2) Ted Bundy had steak and eggs; 3) James Smith (Texas, 1990) requested a “lump of dirt” (his request was denied; and 4) Missouri inmate Lloyd Schulp asked for venison and hare (his request was granted.)


3 thoughts on “Going Over the Hill

  1. My condolences my friend,I to have suffered much loss when I was very young and it tears at your heart and at a young age it gets you thinking as a grown up because they always are morbid.Your picture to me is wonderful it is a journey and animals never complain they just except it they know it is time and except this wonderful and mysterious journey as another day in their life of transition.They are going up Galen and they are never going to wander ever again and never to eat of the ground that was cursed by God because of mans sin.It has to be a great relief for elderly people suffering and helpless I have herd them say Why do I have to be here?There is no one left for me to even talk to they are all gone, and they want to go, their life is almost at a point of meaningless aggravation every day,but your friends were quite young like my two sisters and grandchild were it was very hard but I can only except it as the animals do for this is a passing dream and who dreams shall live for if we do not dream then we shall build no temple unto time. The dreamer dies but never dies the dream,you have wonderful memories of your youth I always wished I had good memories of my childhood but I don’t. Your children had a wonderful life to and you are close I don’t know what that is like.No matter what you loose it is still a loss but we count not the losses for the Lord will give us the desires of our hearts if we follow him and keep his word.The animals don ‘t have this fear they just know it is the right thing and allow it kinda like the sheep being brought to the slaughter,quiet calm,like a child innocent drifting off into the land of painless forever more and never a need for a light or sleep never sick.I hope it still rains for the flowers to grow I love the rain and the smell of rain it is always the same misty, gentle, kind, sweet ,wet!By the way if you go before me and you probably wont:) I would always remember you as a great artists of words and scenery a lover of life ,beauty,family,friends because some of them are like family for you. If I die before you,and I will I hope you remember these words of mine “I’m going up and I’m never coming down” I want to be with the Lord and nothing else just the Lord rejoicing in his grace and wonderful Love that only he can give and has given for me:)He’s all I want He’s all I need forever!

    1. Thanks! I, too, have known many elderly people who have questioned why they have to remain here when they so desperately want to go home. There isn’t much to say to them at that time for we don’t know His purposes.

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