Power Point: Appreciate adversity

January 30, 2009, 3:24 AM UTC

“Adversity builds character.”

— Charlotte Sellers, my mother, who died a year ago today, told me this constantly when I was growing up. I try not to use Postcards as a platform to get too personal, but if you’ll permit today–to pay a tribute to her–I’d appreciate that. She was 87 and forceful and generous and beautiful until the end. My closest friend.

Marrying my father in 1944, she thought that she couldn’t have children—and after “the miracle,” as they always called me, arrived, they spent the first year dealing with my illnesses and doubting that I would survive. Well, I did. And I do think that adversity–in infancy for me and within a loving marriage for my parents–made us all stronger and wiser than we otherwise might have been. My dad, Dr. Walter Sellers, soon to be 88, is doing well generally but having a rough day today. So this Postcard is for him as much as it is for my mother and me.