Life goes on

My friend Olga told me about her friend who just died. She was a woman who had seen much and done much—and, for Olga, she had been more family than friend. I could feel Olga’s sadness when she concluded, “Life goes on.” It’s true. Robert Frost once said: ‘In three words, I can sum up [...]

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Have a great life

Kerry Egan, a hospice chaplain, ends her book On Living with the advice she received from one of her dying patients. “Promise me that you’ll have a great life no matter what happens.”

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Finding meaning

Kerry Egan, author of On Living, is a hospice chaplain who spends a lot of time listening to people’s stories. If you know someone who tells the same stories again and again—and I do, Egan explains that the person is still trying to find meaning in his or her stories. That’s the reason for the [...]

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Are you changing?

I’ve been thinking about birthdays because I have several good friends who have March and April birthdays, including my friend Sandra, who is celebrating her 91st birthday. In a book I bought for Sandra—90 and Proud of It, I found this quote from Doris Lessing: “The great secret that all old people share is that [...]

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Like a good cheese

“If wrinkles must be written upon our brows, let them not be written upon the heart,” James A. Garfield once said. “The spirit should never grow old.” I found that quote in a book—90 and Proud of It—that I bought for my friend Sandra, who was celebrating her 91st birthday. And, I also found another [...]

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Happy 91st Birthday

My friend lucky Sandra, who lives in the house behind mine, invited me to her 91st birthday party. As Andy Rooney once said, “I didn’t get old on purpose; it just happened. If you’re lucky, it could happen to you.” I found Andy Rooney’s quote—and more quotes that I will share with you in future [...]

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A vast web of misunderstanding

I just went to a cousin’s birthday party in Colorado City, Texas. Although I see most of my cousins on my father’s side of the family at least once a year, I haven’t seen many of the cousins on my mother’s side of the family in years. I was reminded of a line from Anna [...]

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A selfless heroine

Elizabeth, the student I visit every week at my local elementary school, and I recently spent our time together reading about the new “Beauty and the Beast” movie because Elizabeth went to see the movie and really liked it. We read in the Disney Beauty and the Beast Official Collector’s Edition book that Belle was [...]

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The cherry on the top

Marcus Borg wrote his book Convictions after his 70th birthday. “At 70, I primarily feel gratitude,” he wrote in the first chapter. “Each extra day feels like lagniappe, a Cajun French word that means ‘something extra’—like the cherry on top of the whipped cream on top of the hot fudge on top of the ice [...]

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Life is too short

I am reading Convictions by Marcus Borg, who always makes me stop and think. One day recently when I was feeling a bit cranky, one of Borg’s statements was especially meaningful. “Life is too short to spend even an hour feeling preoccupied or grumpy or out of sorts,” Borg wrote. –Joy

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