Just back from my mother’s 90th birthday party. …

It was such an extraordinary time, not only because (as some of you who have read my books already know) my relationship with my mother has been the one in which I’ve been called to work out some of the most difficult feelings I’ve ever had and this time was different. This time, we were able to celebrate her life. And the fact that she is still here, still my mother and always glad to hear my voice. I consider myself lucky that I get to continue to ride with the currents of our relationship and believe me, I am still learning how.

In this photo, my step-father Dick seems to be showing once again how much he loves her — and that is one huge thing I learned from her and from them. When she met him — I was nineteen — and I saw how much they loved each other and how sane their relationship was, it made me realize I could have a relationship like that. I could be loved like that. I could love like that. Because, after all, as he never failed to remind me, I was quite a handful. But as I never failed to remind him — he married the original handful, and I learned from the best.

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