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Author is keynote speaker at conference

April 24, 2006|by JULIE E. GREENE

In 2001, John Heyward Norris announced this would be his last Christmas.

"That was a sign of hope for all of us," says his daughter, Kathleen Norris. "It allowed us to appreciate that time all the more."

John Norris' health had been failing for several years from aplastic anemia, and he died in June 2002.

His daughter, a best-selling author, will talk about her experiences with hope and health during Hope: The Heart & Soul of Healing, a spirituality and medicine conference being held Thursday, April 27, at Robinwood Medical Center. Norris is the keynote speaker at the conference.

She'll share stories about her late father and her husband, David Dwyer, whom she cared for for five years before he died of lung cancer in 2003.

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Norris also will talk about some helpful and not-so-helpful things doctors and nurses have said and done during her experiences with her father's and husband's illnesses.

Norris is author of "The Cloister Walk," "Dakota: A Spiritual Geography," and "Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith." She is an award-winning poet, writer and author who explores spiritual life.

"The Cloister Walk" is a diary of her monastic experience at Assumption Abbey in North Dakota, where she is an associate of the Benedictine monastery.

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