My friend is one of those women who manage to address life directly. Trained as a research scientist, she is clear-headed, quick to analyze a problem, look at data, evaluate options, and carefully track the progress of possible solutions. She has a brilliant mind and a memory that can embarrass the rest of us. She bites into life, eager to experience all it can offer and moves on with grace when loss or pain might make others flinch. In the nearly twenty years that I have known her, I don’t remember ever having seen her cry. Until last week.