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A speaker, award-winning writer, and cancer widow, Marlys took an early retirement from the St. Charles Cancer Center in Bend, OR, to write and speak full-time. Mountain biking, hiking, and snow-shoeing in the nearby Cascade Range fill her spare hours. (But she’s also a knitter and sipper of hot tea.) Marlys has a passion for repurposing old junk into cool new stuff, and an even deeper passion for helping people navigate life’s challenges toward new purpose, having negotiated a few herself.
are you settling for a red flag guy

“What do you do to your hair?” he asked. My red hair had faded to a nice shade of strawberry blonde through the years,


Our children and grandchildren met each other for the first time over pizza on a Friday evening. A bonfire was built later that night.

This Is Why You Can’t Rely on Looks in a Relationship

It took three years after my husband died to consider dating again. “Father,” I prayed, “if marriage is in your plan, then please lead

Now Is the Time to Get Comfortable With Grief

Dan, a cancer widower, answered my questions as I tapped away on my laptop. I was interviewing him for an article about a shower

10 Quick Ways to Be More Productive When You Work From Home

When my four adult children were in town for their father’s Celebration of Life service, they strategized over possibilities for my future as a

Dear Caregiver You Don't Have to Be a Superhero

My caregiving roles overlapped and tangled. My mom moved in with us, slipping further into dementia. And then we heard these heart-stopping words from

I Started to Cultivate Wonder, and This Is What I Found

As I leash up John’s dog, he stuffs cookies into his pocket. On nice days, we walk on a nearby trail before getting coffee

This Is What I Would Say to My Younger Mom Self

Our daughter was away at college when our son graduated from high school. With a job lined up in Northern California, I drove him

You Are a Purpose Wrapped in a Person

Once upon a time, I was a stay-at-home mom. I loved being the one to cheer my children on as they drooled their first

Now You Can Find Purpose in the Midst of Your Troubles

Back when I was newly widowed, I emailed a farewell letter to the community I served in my position at the cancer center. A

I Said I Would Never Date Again, but Then

My children have given their blessing for me to date and remarry, but my son had one stipulation: “As long as he has a


My husband, Gary, woke me up one pre-sunrise morning. “Feels like the flu,” he said. We’d been here before. I threw on my clothes and