Life seems sometimes like nothing more than a series of losses, from beginning to end. That's the given. How you respond to those losses, what you make of what's left, that's the part you have to make up as you go.
Happy 59th birthday, Katharine Weber! Her memoir, The Memory of All That, is about her fascinating family. Weber's grandmother was Kay Swift, a composer who had a long affair with George Gershwin, and her father was a pioneer of AromaRama, producing the first movie with smells.