My mom, on the occasion of her 80th birthday, January 24, 2002, surrounded by her grandkids (the youngest was not yet born). We celebrated with a big family party at my cousin's airy, art-filled home in Nassau. My mom's five sisters and one living brother all flew to be with her. So did cousins, nieces, nephews, friends. We came from all corners of the hemisphere to celebrate her. I'm sure the spirit of my dad was there, too. This picture of my mom, flanked by my daughter and son (left and back) and my brother's daughters (right and in my mother's lap) is one that for me, captures the loving intergenerational bond that is the gift of the big, sprawling, fiercely connected family I was born into.