Four Generations of Phillips (Dixie Phillips is top right)

Mother’s Day Special: University of Adversity

By Dixie Phillips


Four Generations of Phillips
Four Generations of Phillips

One December morning a blizzard was brewing in northern Iowa. I would miss a day of fifth grade because school had been cancelled.

“Brrrrrr.” The blast of frigid temperatures made my mother’s teeth chatter. “It’s freezing out there.”

When I spoke, my warm breath fogged over the cold pane of glass on our window. “Glad I’m inside where it’s warm.”


As Mom admired the white landscape, a dark shadow loomed in the distance. “Who on earth would be traipsing around in this weather?”

I squinted, trying to catch a glimpse of the mysterious person. “It’s Keith—the homeless man!”


Mom shot out the door and frantically waved her arms. “Keith! Woo hoo! Come on in and have some breakfast.”


A thin, shabbily dressed man who resembled some character from a Dickens’ novel entered our home and eyed the bacon sizzling in the pan. “That sure smells good.”

“We’re glad you could join us for breakfast today, Keith.” Mom poured a steaming cup of coffee for our guest of honor.


“Me, too.”


Even though school was cancelled that day, I learned a valuable life lesson about caring for those who’ve seen a tough life. My mother taught me that God always makes room for those special souls who have graduated from the University of Adversity and I should too.


Special guest author Dixie Phillips currently writes for SGN Scoops digital magazine