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Forever Changed, Still Here

Featuring Little Rock author and collage artist Jennifer A. O'Brien, this episode discusses her memoir, "The Hospice Doctor's Widow: A Journal." Part journal, part art collage, this book shares the love story of Jennifer and her husband Robert Lehmberg, who met in mid-life and married.

Too soon into their relationship, Bob, a Palliative Care and Hospice physician, was diagnosed with a stage IV, metastatic cancer. The couple was confronted with Bob's serious condition and then his terminal diagnosis. And, Jennifer became the caregiver to the caregiver.

Author and educator, Jennifer A. O'Brien
Lori Sparkman
Author and educator, Jennifer A. O'Brien

As a form of self-care, she found comfort in art journaling; she made pictures, wrote notes, and created collages. Later, these works would become the inspiration for the book.

Through the art and story of the book, Jennifer shares their own "precious time" when death is eminent and nearly every moment is filled with the potential of a peaceful, comforting memory or a remorseful, regretful one.

Singer songwriter, Ashtyn Barbaree

Published by Et Alia Press, "The Hospice Doctor’s Widow: A Journal" has won a Nautilus silver award in the Death & Dying/Grief & Loss category, a Next Gen Indie Book gold for Relationships, an Independent Publishers (IPPY) bronze for Gift, and an International Impact Award for its Interior Design.

For 35 years Jennifer A. O'Brien has been a practice management consultant to physicians. She has served as CEO for two large physician practices; authored 55+ pieces published in professional and peer review journals, and is an active public speaker about end-of-life care. She lives in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Original music for the episode was composed and performed by Ashtyn Barbaree, with additional songs by Brian Nahlen.
A very special thank you to Mary Gauthier for sharing the song "Mercy Now" with the program.

Robert Lehmberg's Hope Life Review Interview was recorded by Dr. Clark Lander Smith and was used with permission from J. A. O'Brien.

Musical artist Brian Nahlen
Musical artist Brian Nahlen

Generous funding for Arts & Letters Radio was provided by the Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Thank you to Stickyz Rock'n'Roll Chicken Shack for keeping music alive and well in Arkansas.

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Executive Producer and Host: J. Bradley Minnick
Producer & Story Editor: Mary Ellen Kubit
Sound Mix and Mastering: Joseph Fuller, Orchestra of One
Intern: Faith Stillwell

Arts & Letters Radio is a production of Living the Dream Media.