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A Dignified Exit

Published Date: September 20, 2016

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Monroe Colson, a successful children’s book illustrator living in small-town Texas, baffles family and friends when he unceremoniously announces he’s moving to Mexico, ostensibly to paint. But first he tries unsuccessfully to reconcile with Ray, his estranged son, a type 1 diabetic.

In Mexico the true nature of his mysterious behavior not only comes to light, but takes an unexpected turn when he runs into a vibrant young American woman who has been abandoned, penniless, by her fiancé.

This emotionally powerful and often humorous story with its controversial subject matter is a poignant testament to love and the resilience of the human heart as the question is argued: is it noble, or is it selfish to go away to die alone rather than become a burden on family and friends.

Author Information

This novel began its gestation during a discussion over dinner one night with my good friend Mary. At the time Mary headed up the Austin Hospice Volunteers here in Austin (nothing like discussing death and people dying over dinner). At one point I casually said, “I think that if I discovered I had a terminal illness, I’d tell my friends and family that I was moving to Mexico to paint.” She said, “Why would you do that?” I replied, “Because I wouldn’t want to be a burden.” She became quite indignant: “That’s the worst thing I ever heard! Don’t you realize how hurt they would be that you denied them the opportunity to show their love by caring for you?”

Truthfully, if it came right down to it, I doubt I’d have the wherewithal to do such a thing, but I thought is sounded quite grand at the time! Later it occurred to me that the argument, Is it noble or is it selfish to go away to die alone rather than become a burden on family and friends, might make a decent theme for a novel. Two years later, and after several false starts . . .


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