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Roberta Gately
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Roberta Gately, author of The Bracelet, has served as a nurse and humanitarian aid worker in war zones ranging from Afghanistan to Africa, about which she wrote a series of articles for the BBC World News Online. She is also the author of the novel Lipstick in Afghanistan.

Entries by Roberta Gately

One Year On: Reflections on a Tragedy

(0) Comments | Posted April 13, 2014 | 10:20 AM

As the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing approaches, the echoes of that day still swirl in this city and in our own memories, for on a day when evil was intended, a city sparkled more brightly than it seemed possible. And the tiny buds of kindness and...

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Weeds for Dinner

(0) Comments | Posted February 5, 2014 | 2:25 PM

In the icy grip of this all too frigid winter, I'd planned to write about the miserably long, snowy weeks that stretch ahead, and how, like so many others, I am sick of shoveling the white stuff. It's lost its allure for me. It no longer represents a scene of...

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Christmas Magic

(2) Comments | Posted December 25, 2013 | 1:05 PM

Christmas -- even the name carries a hint of magic as it twirls through my thoughts stirring up wonderfully evocative memories of enchanting, never to be forgotten moments. I remember, as though it was yesterday, a snowy Christmas eve, my weary dad trying to shoo us to bed, his finger...

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Lighting a Candle Against the Dark

(1) Comments | Posted October 10, 2013 | 3:56 PM

Malala Yousafzhai's autobiography, I am Malala, was released this week, an especially fitting time ahead of Friday's UN International Day of the Girl Child. Nominated for this year's Nobel Peace Prize, Malala is the teenage Pakistani activist known for her courageous determination to attend school. Last...

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Religion and Refugees

(15) Comments | Posted August 13, 2013 | 1:19 PM

I am a Catholic, and like so many of my faith, I have had what we call "lapses" -- those times, months, sometimes even years -- when religion takes a back seat to life, and though we still believe, we return to church and to God only in times of...

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The Power of Women

(0) Comments | Posted July 24, 2013 | 11:29 AM

Women have changed the world, often one tiny step at a time, and our selection of those women who've had the most influence often varies with the years and with our own experiences. Twenty-five years ago, we might have chosen Margaret Thatcher, Princess Diana or maybe even Mary Tyler Moore,...

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Finding Inspiration

(0) Comments | Posted July 2, 2013 | 12:23 PM

Inspiration -- that elusive gem, that idea that transforms our thoughts and our maybes into the essential themes of our stories. But, from what magical place does that indefinable pearl emerge? For me, as a nurse and humanitarian aid worker, I find inspiration everywhere. I stand in line at the...

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Word Love

(1) Comments | Posted June 11, 2013 | 11:44 AM

For as far back as I can remember, I've loved words. I love the sounds, the way a word can slip from my tongue like cool water through a stream or the jagged way it might flow like rocks along a riverbed. I love the way a single word can...

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Embrace the Ordinary

(2) Comments | Posted May 12, 2013 | 5:06 PM

It's that season again -- the season of graduation and change, the season of lofty dreams and loftier still commencement speeches. For most of us, the sweetest words we can hear at commencement are -- "I'll keep this short." But, more often than not, the speeches are grand appeals to...

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I Am a Nurse

(6) Comments | Posted May 3, 2013 | 1:31 PM

Nurses' Week is upon us, and this year, in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, it seems especially fitting to celebrate nurses, those quiet heroes who walk among us. For in every hospital in Boston, it was a nurse who worked feverishly to stop the bleeding, start the intravenous...

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Inside the ER

(0) Comments | Posted April 16, 2013 | 3:14 PM

Monday, April 15th, the Patriots' Day holiday in Boston, dawned clear and cool, a perfect spring day. The ER at the Boston Medical Center (BMC) hummed with activity -- headaches, and chest pain and the wounds and complaints of everyday life. With Boston's marathon winding down, ER staff were ready...

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The Anatomy of Hope

(2) Comments | Posted April 12, 2013 | 8:10 AM

What exactly is it, that little kernel, that tiny bud of something, that allows people who possess it to move beyond the immediacy of their troubles and to focus instead on the barely discernible sparkle of light, the promise that misery is only fleeting and that better days lay just...

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An Exercise on Happiness: The Physiology of a Smile

(40) Comments | Posted March 28, 2013 | 8:20 AM

We've all heard the old adage "it takes 43 muscles to frown, and just 17 to smile," a fact that of course begs the question: Why don't we all smile more often? We know that a smile can light up someone else's day as well as our own, but still,...

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