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Mother's death brings unrecognized gifts to life

10:06 PM, Jun. 13, 2013
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Life is a gift. A long life is a gift wrapped with a big ribbon.

As time moves forward here, one week after my mother's funeral, I'm recognizing the gifts she has given me so late in her life: the occasions to exercise patience, empathy, laughter, silliness, anger, grace, love and, now, deep sadness.

Many times, regrettably, I couldn't feel anything but exasperation while going about the tasks of her daily caregiving. Her unexpected gifts are becoming apparent to me now, in the stillness of this house. ...

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If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports