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The Monastery of Monte Siesta

The Monastery of Monte Siesta

I met my friend, Michelle, almost two years ago shortly after she had been diagnosed with stage IV cancer. Michelle’s childhood was scarred with unreliable, abusive adults and, not surprisingly, the early part of her own adulthood was riddled with addiction and a...
Paying Homage

Paying Homage

I showed up for my afternoon shift at Hospice Austin’s Christopher House where my mother-in-law died more than 15 years ago. The walkway is made of bricks. Many of them contain names and life dates of people who had died at the hospice. Recent rains had caused dirt,...
On Top of the Mountain

On Top of the Mountain

It’s not unusual for families to go into a tailspin during the agonizing terminal illness of a child. However, Mary Rodriguez and her husband, Ricardo Perez, traversed that difficult journey with incredible courage and grace. They had no indication during Mary’s...

Honoring Madelyn’s Wish

In February 2017, 16-year-old Madelyn Shoales was diagnosed with a rare type of brain cancer. She underwent surgery to remove the tumor, followed by six weeks of radiation. Two weeks after her surgery, she returned to school to finish out her sophomore year. Madelyn...