Here’s Mom, who died in July 2003. She called herself Lillian—just Lillian, with no last name. Mom was a wonderful painter and also liked to bake delicious gourmet desserts. When I was young, she read to me a lot and later encouraged my writing. We were close throughout the rest of her life, and even shared a house for a few years, after she left Dad. I took this photo in 1996. It’s hard to believe it shows her in her mid‑60s. Though I miss her a lot, I was inspired by how graciously and fearlessly she accepted her coming death. In this way, she taught me that it’s those who make the most of their life who feel the least need to hold onto it. I feel really lucky she was my Mom. If you’d like to learn more, you can read my memorial to her.