I haven't mentioned her lately in this space, so perhaps it's worth saying that my mother did everything right (other than failing to teach me how to cook). Evelyn Teachout, who turns eighty-one in June, mysteriously neglected to make any of the all-too-familiar mistakes that blight the lives of so many of the people I know. She showed me how to laugh, admired my achievements, brushed off my failures, assured me whenever necessary that pretty much anything I wanted to do in life would be fine with her, and never left me in the slightest doubt of her love. She embedded in me what Freud called "that confidence of success that often induces real success." You can't get much luckier than that.
I could say much the same about my own mother. I had a bit of luck yesterday myself, when I came upon at this site (brought to my attention by Joe of New York) this quote from, I believe, the Psalms: "This is the day the Lord made. Rejoice and be glad." Today, athe same site, I cam upon this: "The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart."