I once spoke with my best friend’s mother at a choir concert when I was 12. We had just listened to Barbara Ann and then we talked about the Beatles. I didn’t know anything about the Beatles, though, because my mother was a nonconformist as a teenager and she didn’t want to listen to whatever anyone else was listening to. I can understand that; but I have a hard time believing that I would have been able to avoid loving the Beatles had I been alive then. Their Anthology had just come out before the conversation with my friend’s mother so I did have some inteligent things to say about them. My friend wasn’t there. He was in the choir. His mother died when we were just a few years older. His mother died, and that is the one conversation I remember with her. We talked about a subject I knew nothing about and she came away thinking that I was a “nice boy” and a good friend to her son. I think that was one that mattered. In the grand scheme of things, no. There wasn’t anything special about the choir concert or about the conversation. It matters because I will never be able to ask her about it. She was the first person I ever knew who died. It isn’t her that I miss or the one that means so much to me (clearly my friend was much more invested), but she did teach me the value of a shared moment. We shared that one. It and so many others since have mattered.