Once upon a long 18 years ago, I got sick. I was sick from a growth in my brain. The growth was found after I'd shuttled from doctor to doctor, from appointment to appointment, from X-ray to scan. It took a year. By then, my pain was clothed in shame. Undiagnosed pain does that: It draws the gaze of friends, family and providers. Everyone looks for the cause. "Soul pain," said one doctor. ...

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From your perch in the coffee shop you watch a woman exit the big grey church across the street from the hospital.  She’s young, probably not even 40, but she’s dressed like an elderly woman.  She’s wearing a shapeless blue raincoat, heavy stockings and wide, steady shoes.  Her rosary is looped around her fingers.  Across from the church door there is a statue of the Virgin Mary against the fence.  ...

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