Learning to Love, One Moment at a Time

Learning to Love, One Moment at a Time

Over dinner my friend Jane makes an offhand comment: “I couldn’t stand my husband when I first met him.” Immediately, I’m intrigued. They’ve been married eight years and she’s head over heels in love with him. She continues, “He was the most obnoxious, pompous know-it-all I’d ever met.” “What finally changed your mind?” I ask, expecting some big gesture on…

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Troubled Relationship Gets a Fresh Start

Troubled Relationship Gets a Fresh Start

For over two decades I’ve tried to maintain a civil relationship with my sister-in-law, my husband’s brother’s wife. Without dredging up a lot of toxic memories, let’s just say we never hit it off. Both of us, however, have consistently tried to at least tolerate each other. Even so, we’ve had several major fallouts, which have put a strain not…

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Blueprint: Redefining My Birthright

Blueprint: Redefining My Birthright

I left them quite intentionally, my blue-collar family, but now I can look back with great appreciation. They scraped together the money that my private-college scholarship didn’t cover, probably not understanding that it meant I would leave their world for one they would never enter—the reward and punishment of a good education. Decades later, I’ve learned to fake it, to…

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Encore: Music Connecting Father and Son

Encore: Music Connecting Father and Son

I’m at one end of the couch, my 88-year-old father at the other in the living room of his condo in Fountain Hills, Arizona. We could easily pass for strangers, but not because of our limited contact since he moved here from New Jersey 28 years ago. Encroaching dementia has estranged my father from me as well as from himself.…

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