Near the end of his wonderful book, Being Mortal, author and physician Atul Gawande writes, “our most cruel failure in how we treat the sick and the aged is the failure to recognize that they have priorities beyond merely being safe and living longer; that the chance to shape one’s story is essential to sustaining…

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In my home state of Virginia, there are many beautiful roadways winding through the Blue Ridge mountain range, offering spectacular vistas in every season.  The problem, of course, is if you are driving on roads that curve and have a drop-off of hundreds of feet on at least one side, you are disinclined to sightsee…

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I just spent a weekend with an old friend from my college days, enjoying the music of the Texas Hill Country, sipping a little bourbon, and sitting and talking about the ways that life has treated us—sometimes kindly, others more harshly.  We are reaching the age when parents’ health is a concern, unless (as in…

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At the risk of looking like an obituary page, I am going to comment once again on the passing of a great artist.  Pat Conroy’s death on Friday reminds me once again of the inexorable march of time, which becomes more personal as my generation enters the era of aches and pains. Conroy’s death is…

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