Life is a work in progress. I’m not sure of the source for that quote, but it rings true with me. Some argue that people don’t change, but as our bodies develop, plateau, and then decline towards death, our spirits need not.

We do have an all-too-human aversion to change, preferring the comfort of our old ways. Like the worn security blanket that Linus carried everywhere in the Peanuts cartoon, we

take refuge in tattered habits. Yet we are constantly writing and editing the story of our lives until the day we die.

It is never too late to overrule our resistance to change, examine and adjust our behaviour, and reap the resulting benefits. My father is an example of this, and so am I. My father died at age 90 after a few months in hospice. While I’d worshipped him as a little girl, once I became an adult we never had a comfortable relationship.

He was brilliant, highly controlling, very critical, and never saw others as individuals with needs differing from his. I found time spent with him akin to taking oral exams for a doctoral dissertation with the understanding I’d never pass muster — it was extremely painful.

When he entered hospice at age 90, I knew it was my last chance to connect with him. I wanted a positive memory of him to carry in my heart, but feared his final words to me would be harsh and I’d have to live with their shadow. It was a chance I felt I had to take. —