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My Mom has always lived life on her terms. Long before it was trendy, my mom rode her bicycle everywhere, even from Amherst to Boston to board a plane heading to England. In our town and beyond, she became known as the "bike lady." She cut a distinct image with grey hair, knee socks and mid-knee skirts. 

These are three of her lessons I live by:

Lesson No. 1 – Understand what is real and get on with it. 

I remember walking home from first grade sobbing because my friends insisted that my Mom was “crippled” and I said she was not – she was perfect.  My Mom was sitting on the front steps waiting for us and when I told her why I was upset she said,  “They're right – I have one leg shorter than the other – stop crying and go play.”


Lesson No. 2 – If it's worth doing, it's worth failing at more than once. 

This lesson applied to everything from auditions for orchestra, to baking bread or relocating to the West Coast. The real "failure" in my Mom’s mind was not taking a risk for what you believe in.


Lesson No. 3 – Listen to others, gather the information and form your own opinion. 

This lesson drove my professors crazy, as I would ask them questions even about the footnotes, and if I thought what the professors presented was dubious, I would ask them to list their sources. 


So thank you to my mother who taught me to see what is real, to  make up my own mind about where justice lies and to fight - even through failure -  until we get it right.

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