The night before I started a week-long sailing course I learned my not-so-recent-former boyfriend had gotten married. I was stunned. He was the one who introduced me to sailing; he was the one who convinced me to move to Annapolis, the capital of the US sailing world. 


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As I sailor, it’s easy to recognize when I’ve “lost anchor” in my day-to-day life although it creeps up on me quietly without warning.  Most days I check off my “to do’s” without hesitation but sometimes it seems like all I’m doing is moving today’s list of “to do’s” to tomorrow’s list of “to do’s”.   


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When I was a newbie in Washington, DC in the 90s working for US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in the Office of Organ Transplantation (DOT), one of my jobs was organizing public hearings to finalize organ allocation policies —


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In the good old days, the best way to reach someone was to call a land line and leave a voicemail on the person’s answering machine. Often, your call wouldn’t be returned for hours, even days. Today, of course, waiting that long for someone to get back to you is unimaginable. Newer technology—primarily texting and emailing—has made it possible to reach people anywhere, anytime. And because we can send a message right now, we expect a response……well, right now.


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Aw, yes, it’s Valentine’s Day.  Like everyone else, I think of long-stemmed roses, heart-shaped candy, and red ribbon and bows.  I’ve had plenty of these over the years, but what I associate the most with this day is the memory of my parents.  Both had surgery on Valentine’s Day and both were told they were about to die.


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I’m often asked what it’s like to live with heart disease. For me, the physical limitations have been much less difficult to manage than the emotional and psychological ones. Heart patients are cautioned about becoming “cardiac cripples”—overly anxious and worried about their future to the point that it affects their health.  Yep, I’ve done that.


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It was 1998 and I had just moved to Louisville, Kentucky, very close to where I grew up as a child.  I was returning to my native state to care for my mother who was dying of ovarian cancer and her mother who was bedbound by a stroke.  My life had been interrupted and part of me was okay about that and part of me was not.  Caregiving can be hard.


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