My world changed four months before September 11, when we learned my husband had cancer. This news came as much out of the blue as the terrorist attacks, and it altered our personal universe just as the world was altered on a global scale after 9/11.

Reality shifted instantly. There was the nostalgic “before” time, when the future stretched comfortably ahead, and the horrifying “after,” when the future had become uncertain. Yet Joe and I had the best summer ever of our 16-year marriag

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