Punch Line: Delivering the Difficult News

September 23, 2014 7:22 PM

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Punch Line: Delivering the Difficult News

The flight to San Diego was peaceful. Departing Boston I tried to leave my baggage behind. It was heavy, lumpy, awkward baggage, the kind no handler wants to toss. Days earlier, I had to deal with difficult unfinished business. I had to tell my children that I was just diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease (EOAD), a demon of a disease that had taken their maternal grandfather and grandmother. I learned early on in journalism that if you don't tell your story, someone else will tell it for you.

All my adult life, I've made a living with words, but finding the right ones for this exchange was numbing. No parent wants to deliver this kind of message. I fumbled like a freshman English major.

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