My earliest memory is of my grandfather in a casket. Losing my godmother at age twelve deeply affected me - I was by her side while she lost her battle with cancer. I lost my core group of friends during the early AIDS years when I was in my early twenties. Mortality, though heartbreaking, is what gives life its majesty, vitality, and urgency. If we lived forever, there’d be no need to make choices. We set priorities, and from priorities come commitment, discipline, sacrifice, and dignity.