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Brave the cold and show up for life

By Charlotte Lankard Published: January 29, 2009
When I look back on my own desperately cold times, I realize, like Krista said of Minnesota winters, they have simply made me hardy. I do not look forward to difficulties, but I understand I am strong enough to face them.

Living a full life, regardless of the number of years, is to reach a point where we accept the changes that come rather than protesting them for the rest of our days. As an Alzheimer’s family member once told me, "You have to say goodbye to the way it was, so you can say hello to the way it is now.”

When faced with voluntary or involuntary transitions, author Deborah Stephens says: "There is good news. We’re in charge. Help exists.”

To remember that is to move from "Woe is me!” to "What can I do now?” Like Sebastian and his friends braving the bitter cold to play sports together, we, too, must brave the raw pain that threatens to engulf us — and keep showing up for life.

Charlotte Lankard is a marriage and family therapist and director of the James L. Hall Center for Mind, Body and Spirit at Integris. Web site:


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