THE ROADMAP

Stories about anticipating, planning for and navigating life’s twists, turns, tragedies, and triumphs.

A Miracle in Motion

A Miracle in Motion

From the St. Paul Pioneer Press Opinion Page, February 23, 2020 When news broke last month that a helicopter transporting Kobe Bryant, his teenage daughter, and seven others had crashed, I was reminded of the temporary nature of life and prompted to reflect on my own. The Bushaw family did not need such a reminder,…

For Kate and all the other mothers like her, I offer these words …

For Kate and all the other mothers like her, I offer these words …

From the St. Paul Pioneer Press Opinion Page, February 2, 2020 It was about this time, 26 years ago, that my toddler stopped talking and started moving at the speed of sound. It was the beginning of an unexpected journey marked by an unexpected discovery, shortly after his second birthday. I laid awake at night,…

Beyond Grit: Learn, Burn and Return

Beyond Grit: Learn, Burn and Return

From the St. Paul Pioneer Press Opinion Page, January 19, 2020 There were an awful lot of purple tears flowing last weekend. I’m referring to the aftermath of losses by the Minnesota Vikings and the Baltimore Ravens football teams, whose players and fans sport purple jerseys. Although a Vikings victory was considered a long shot,…

‘Rowing the boat,’ young Casey O’Brien seems to have learned the secrets to living a good life

‘Rowing the boat,’ young Casey O’Brien seems to have learned the secrets to living a good life

I’d never heard of Casey O’Brien until my son-in-law emailed the link to an ESPN story with a note that said,  “This one hits rather close to home.” He was referring to the video of O’Brien’s speech at a Big 10 kickoff luncheon last July. I wasn’t the only one in my family to watch…

The fortifying joy in showing up for grief

The fortifying joy in showing up for grief

From the St. Paul Pioneer Press Opinion Page, Dec. 22, 2019 Last month, a dilemma landed at my doorstep. Should I go? The week before Thanksgiving my sister-in-law Shari lost her father under difficult circumstances. I wanted to be there for her, my brother Steve, and their daughter, Isabel, yet I was wary of adding…

Holiday Tradition – With a Twist

Holiday Tradition – With a Twist

From the St. Paul Pioneer Press Opinion page, Dec. 8, 2019. It feels like a mad dash from Thanksgiving to Christmas and a new year. Like everyone else, I’m juggling lists and plans as we race to the finish line of 2019. My mind feels like a mosquito that darts from target to target on…

How Taking a Chance Transformed Me from Survivor to Thriver

How Taking a Chance Transformed Me from Survivor to Thriver

From the St. Paul Pioneer Press Opinion Page, Nov. 28, 2019 It’s here. The time of year when we pray, plan, and prepare for what we hope will be a period of joyful celebration. That dream has not always been reality for me. But I have a good feeling about this holiday season. Next month…

Lessons I Learned as an Amateur Caregiver

Lessons I Learned as an Amateur Caregiver

From the St. Paul Pioneer Press Opinion Page, Nov. 10, 2019 As I stood at the podium last month to address a roomful of nurses, memories came flooding back from a time when I, too, was a caregiver, though I didn’t have a lick of medical training. In 2005, my daughter underwent a bone marrow…

How “Best Buddies” Fight Loneliness and Make Life Better

How “Best Buddies” Fight Loneliness and Make Life Better

From the St. Paul Pioneer Press Opinion Page, Oct. 27. 2019 “One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do… .” So begins a Three Dog Night song that hit the airwaves when phones were still connected to the wall. I listened to the song many times in my youth without reflecting on the lyrics.…

Changing the Narrative About Dyslexia

Changing the Narrative About Dyslexia

From the St. Paul Pioneer Press Opinion Page, Oct. 13, 2019 You’re dumb. You’re lazy. You’re a bad kid. Every day, students receive these messages, explicitly or implicitly, because they can’t learn to read the way they’re being taught. Meanwhile, their classmates learn to identify the letters of the alphabet, as expected. They learn to…

Optimism? It’s Worth the Stretch

Optimism? It’s Worth the Stretch

From the St. Paul Pioneer Press Opinion Page, Sept. 29, 2019 Is it possible to become an optimist if it isn’t within one’s nature to be so? I’d like to think it is, for though I don’t have both feet in the optimist camp, I wish I did. How does one become more optimistic? In…

We don’t know what we don’t know, and I didn’t know about Gander, Newfoundland

We don’t know what we don’t know, and I didn’t know about Gander, Newfoundland

From the St. Paul Pioneer Press Opinion Page, Sept. 8, 2019 We don’t know what we don’t know. That thought coursed through my brain as I sat in a New York City theater last June and learned about a remarkable display of generosity and goodwill. I never knew there was a place called Gander, Newfoundland,…