Susan looked like a historian: white-haired and bespectacled, a background of dark, antique shelves brimming with books and binders – decades of her research catalogued and stacked. An early morning light shone through her study window. Just out of our sight, this window was a portal to her magical garden, where she tended her prized day lilies of some 2,000 varieties. But all we ever saw of Susan was this view of her in her home, cropped and captured by our computer screens.

This was us – Marissa, a climber in the Austrian Alps; Faye, a public librarian in Rhode Island; and Susan, a historian ...


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