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THE ROADMAP

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

Reckoning with a TBI – and a Mission

Reckoning with a TBI – and a Mission

As seen in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on May 26, 2019 It’s interesting how both actions and words can dramatically alter our lives. In February 2014, Amy Zellmer slipped on a driveway coated with black ice. Cradling her small Yorkie in her arms, she couldn’t brace her fall. When she landed on her head,…

There’s Adventure in Mustering Courage to Face Our Fears

There’s Adventure in Mustering Courage to Face Our Fears

  As seen in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on May 12, 2019 As the rain fell on a chilly Hawaiian morning, I had an unexpected rendezvous with fear. My husband had planned a Valentine’s Day adventure that began with kayaking in a downpour and continued with a trek through ankle-deep mud. We’d led an…

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Autism: Awareness, Vigilance, and Encouragement

As seen in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on April 21, 2019. A familiar knot formed in my stomach as the words scrolled across the bottom of the TV screen late last month. A 27-year-old non-verbal woman with autism was missing from her Texas home. My mind flashed back to 2007 when, in the span…

Living With the End in Mind … Lessons From  the Pursuit of Healing

Living With the End in Mind … Lessons From the Pursuit of Healing

  As seen in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on April 7, 2019.  We’re all students and teachers, whether we choose to be — or even realize we are. It’s the give and take of shared experiences, coupled with insights and lessons learned, that help us to navigate this complicated experience called life. Though Cathy…

‘Better Angels’ — Pushing Back on Political Polarization

‘Better Angels’ — Pushing Back on Political Polarization

As seen in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on March 24, 2019 Bill Doherty gets emotional when he recites a favorite quote from President Abraham Lincoln’s first inaugural address: “We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic…

Finding a Way Through Alzheimer’s

Finding a Way Through Alzheimer’s

As seen in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on March 10, 2019. It’s been a painful slide into the sunset for Patty Sagert and her family as the man who was a successful entrepreneur and family patriarch has slowly left them, another victim of Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, a group…

Change is difficult. And inevitable. And involves choices.

Change is difficult. And inevitable. And involves choices.

  This column originally appeared in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on February 24, 2019. Bad news comes on many fronts — a cancer diagnosis, a death, or loss of a job. While we often can’t control the circumstances, we can control our response. Which means life can deliver us to a crossroads with a challenge…

“I’m 50 Years Old Now and I’m Still Thinking About That High School Counselor”

“I’m 50 Years Old Now and I’m Still Thinking About That High School Counselor”

This piece originally appeared in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on February 3, 2019. The words “don’t bother” or “you won’t make it” don’t resonate with Miki Huntington. In fact, when told not to bother, her instinct is always to push back, for if one doesn’t try or ask, one will never know. Huntington has done so…

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Enduring Lessons in Resiliency and Empowerment

This piece originally appeared in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on January 20, 2019. Have you discovered your life’s purpose? Gloria Perez found hers early in life. Perez spent 10 years in a two-parent family committed to faith, education, and the community. Then her father died of cancer. As a young girl, she witnessed the struggles of…

Bending, Blending and Setting Boundaries for an Even Better Year

Bending, Blending and Setting Boundaries for an Even Better Year

This piece originally appeared in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on January 6, 2019. We’re days into a new year but I’m still thinking about the one we left behind. December was a whirlwind month, filled with fun, obligations, cheer, reverence, and stress. While it’s still fresh, I’m reflecting on what worked, what didn’t work,…

Dear Kyle, Thanks for Making the World a Better Place

Dear Kyle, Thanks for Making the World a Better Place

This piece originally appeared in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on December 23, 2018. Have you seen the “Dear Kyle” video? It’s a real tearjerker. You won’t find it on Netflix. But you may have seen it online. I’m referring to the video about Kyle Rudolph, the tight end nominated for the Walter Payton NFL Man…

Wings for Widows: Offering a Better Way to Navigate the Aftermath of a Loss

Wings for Widows: Offering a Better Way to Navigate the Aftermath of a Loss

This column originally appeared in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on December 9, 2018.   Word came by phone, delivered by a stranger I never did meet. Nine years ago, my husband, the father of four, died in a hospital emergency room after efforts to coax his heart back into service fell short. In an…