One very important tool in my life comes from something my mother told me as a little girl. “you are better than no one, and no one is better than you are.” ….”if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing.” In the 50’s being a “good little girl” was very important, and that meant up to any age. I kept the good deed until I was 40, and when my mother died several years later, I buried the good little girl with her. I loved my mother, I just didn’t want to lead her life. Shortly after her death, I took a writing course at Skidmore, and had one of the most powerful moments in my life. There were about 40 women in the class and I read a letter to my mom, that I wrote after her death. When I finished, every woman lined up to talk to me about their own experiences. I wish I could have talked to my mom woman to woman, perhaps todays young women are able to have that luxury. I still mourn for that loss….I was asked to bring a picture of myself as a child to class, look at the picture, and say the first words that came to mind..I looked at my picture and said very quickly “I wish I could have been your mother.” but…..she did do the best she could, sadly, being unfulfilled so much of her life, but I live by the positive words she left me, and that is what I choose to remember, most of the time.