At Any Price

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At Any Price

Last week was my brother-in-law's birthday. Had he lived, he would have been 77. He passed away after a short, fierce battle with metastatic lung cancer, on Thanksgiving weekend. His three daughters had all been there together to visit with him in person earlier that week, so we had a lot to be thankful for.

About a month earlier, during his illness, I was talking with a family friend about my attendant obligations, and how far behind I was getting in my work. "I've canceled four kids this week so I could be on the phone for medical appointments," I complained.

"Don't cancel your work," she responded. "Take care of yourself first, and then help him if you have time." I began to protest, but she talked over me. "Turn off your phone. If he calls, don't answer."

I've never met this family friend in person, just dealt with her some in the blur of the illness. After that conversation, I decided to switch our communications to text, because I wasn't interested in getting her suggestions in a phone call anymore. I disagreed with her. While my clients are very important to me, and I love and value my kiddos and their progress, and I cannot afford to cancel work all that much, family is precious, and life-and-death matter infinitely more to me than appointments or money. I don't know why anyone would want to work with me if that weren't true.

Ultimately, I don't want to operate in a world where no one owes anyone anything else.

This post is what I owe you now, and it's long overdue.  

I have had this photo on my phone since early December, nearly three months ago:

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