Finding Gifts in Unexpected Places

In July, 1998, my sister, Colleen, was driving with our parents when their car was struck, head-on. Our parents were killed instantly. Colleen suffered a head injury so severe that she was left in a persistent vegetative state. She remained in the coma, never regaining consciousness, until her death in 2003. What follows is a eulogy I gave at her funeral and I am sharing it today, on what would have been her 68th birthday.

Thinking of you today, Collie. Thank you for the gifts your life and death provided. 

Nearly five years ago we were a family, much like other families, going through the motions of life – rearing the next generation, working through marriage, divorce and issues of commitment, loving, usually without conscious effort and frequently with a struggle.  Then came the day of the accident. It was a day that began with a ripple, not unlike a pebble dropping into a pool of water, only this was a boulder and the ripple that resulted grew to engulf...

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