My sister, Mary, and I are at the beginning of the long, arduous, and sometimes painful process of settling our parents’ estate. On many days it’s not a lot of fun. On the other hand, Mom and Dad always told us not to be sad when they died. “We’ve had full, wonderful lives,” they would say, “and we want you to remember the good times. Laugh at them every chance you get.”

Well, obedient children that we’ve always been, we are doing just that.

Today Mary reminded me of the time Dad bought Mom a book on improving her memory by word association. They traveled a lot in connection with his work, and Dad said he wished Mom would try harder to remember the names of the people they met along the way. Dad never forgot a name in his life. Mom, on the other hand, seldom remembered one.