Vancouver the Beautiful

If you’re a parent who works from home, summer and work-productivity are antonyms. I finally figured that out this year, around early July. When my family and I skipped town on a vacation to British Columbia, I switched off my email and social media for 10 days.

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Suicide: Let’s Talk About It

Suicide is one of the most uncomfortable topics around. If we say we lost someone to suicide, it might be perceived as a weakness, a selfish act, a stain on their character. Not so if they died from cancer or heart disease. But like other ailments, suicide is uninvited. Suicide and

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Hitch Your Wagon to a Star

During a recent conversation with my kids, I encouraged them to reach for challenges, even for things that seem unattainable. I shared with them one of my favorite quotes, from Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Hitch your wagon to a star.” Sometimes you won’t reach your star, I said,

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On Loving, and Losing

My family and I lost two friends recently. For the sake of protecting their identities, I’ll call them Cheryl and Paul. They died rather young—Cheryl after a drawn-out battle with cancer, and Paul went suddenly, his heart failing while he slept. Both losses spurred stinging tears and

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Retroactive Grief

Over the past few weeks I’ve watched friends stride through different rites of passage. Some sent their child to away-camp for the first time. Others released their youngest into the realm of college. I’ve not reached either pinnacle yet. But I recognize them to be fraught with

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Strasbourg Cathedral de Notre-Dame

Strasbourg straddles the border between France and Germany. I spent a long weekend there with my husband, in 2007. He lived there from the time he was 8 until his family up and moved to the States, when he was in high school. My favorite part of

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