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Category Archives: Being Present

Why I volunteer at Hospice Austin’s Christopher House

I volunteer at Hospice Austin's Christopher House because of the generosity and compassion that transcends throughout the building with patient care, professional friendly staff and the great family feeling of love to all that enters the building (young or old). I have seen babies in cribs there. My most memorable story was the first year I volunteered on Thanksgiving Day at Christopher House and witnessed for myself the love and joy that was given through food and fellowship to the patients and their families.

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Terry’s Song

Not long ago, Terry Yon was sitting at his kitchen table feeling sick and despondent. He began writing down his thoughts. He had always been interested in songwriting but had never done it – until now. He was writing for himself, but he was also writing for every other person who has spent long hours in chemotherapy infusion rooms and strapped to radiation tables. A song was born: God, Are You Near Me At All?

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Finding My Way Back

Today is the day that Keaton died in 2001, just before his 4th birthday. November 23rd: it’s a different experience each year. Sometimes it falls on Thanksgiving, as it was that night. The emotional experience varies each year as well. That it has become easier over the years has made it harder in another way. […]

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Breathing Through It

The previous three weeks had been hard ones. We’d gone too many miles on not enough gallons and even little comforts had been few and far between.

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As soon as I saw the expression on the faces of the staff at Doug’s House, I knew something was wrong. Our patient, Mr. Smith,* they told me, was not feeling well and would be going to the hospital. He would have to miss the concert that had been arranged especially for him. I had […]

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Being Brave: The Courage to Relax

After a full summer spent volunteering on the border of South Texas, Bill and I set off, bicycles in tow, into Mexico.

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A Sense of Well-Being

“On a scale from 1 – 10, rate your general sense of well-being.” Dr. Bob Friedman, the chief medical officer for CTPCA – Central Texas Palliative Care Associates – looked at my brother-in-law expectantly.

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Surviving the Holidays

With good reason, holiday seasons are among the most emotionally difficult times for people who have experienced the death of a loved one. Holidays may be difficult no matter what you try to do or where you go. Be gentle with yourself. Below are some tips that may help.

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Doorways to the Soul: The Present Moment

It was a thing of beauty; aquamarine and silver with white streamers on the handlebars. My very first bike. I was six years old and had watched with longing for several years as my two older brothers tore around the neighborhood on their big red bicycles. Now was my time. I could feel it.

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Repairing the World

If last week had been a fish, I would have thrown it back.  It seemed that we couldn’t turn around without encountering another heartbreaking story or situation.  The Boston Marathon bombing; the devastating explosion in West, Texas; a destructive earthquake in China; a dear friend admitted to hospice care; another friend just diagnosed with cancer.  […]

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