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Week of November 26, 2001:
Life and Death


I am so grateful for the gift of life, and for all the time I have to be with people I love. This week one of my sisters discovered that--after weeks and weeks of testing in one of the nation's top cancer centers--she does not have cancer, but a benign tumor. And her superb physician will remove it next week. When she called me with the news, we laughed and wept. And we talked of something else that simply broke our hearts.


My niece, Michelle, and husband Paul, moved to my old hometown about a month ago. Full of hope and excitement, they searched for, and found, the perfect home. Much of our family spent a marvelous Thanksgiving Day together, including these two. Paul prepared for a driving trip to Atlanta.

He didn't make it.

Tuesday, close to the time we got my sister's good news, Michelle learned that Paul died in a car accident while driving through Montana. We don't know the details of the accident, but we do know how deeply his family and friends mourn him.

This has been a year of loss for many in my family. My uncle Lou Nielsen and his son, Rich. Our two faithful golden retriever granddogs, Boz and Micus. My daughter-in-law's mother, Nancy Kerr. And Paul. They made a difference in many lives. While they are lost to us in one way, we can still remember the special times we spent with them.


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