A Letter to Two Very Special Women in my Life…

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I was three weeks into my 20s when my mother died of breast cancer. I used to lie with my head in her lap for hours, asking her broad, teen-angst-filled, answerless questions about mortality and faith like: What is the meaning of life? What does it all mean? And why do we spend so much time trying to be good when we’re just going to die, anyway?

My mom would respond to my half-baked philosophical conundrums with her own sound life philosophies. One of my favorite nuggets of wisdom from her goes something like this: “If you can count your number of true friends on one hand, then count yourself a very blessed person.”

Brilliant. But what the heck does it mean?

My mother died the day after Christmas, 1990 — leaving behind my father, my younger brother and me. She was my very best friend.

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