Last winter, Jil's daughter Meghan noticed something new in their kitchen, which - if you've spent any time in their home - you know is already filled with trinkets and tokens and words that meant something to Jill. Things that made her roar with laughter or smile quietly to herself.
What Meghan found was a quote, typed in Comic Sans font and hung on the fridge: "Confucius says: We all have two lives. And the second one begins when we realize we only have one."
There's no way to say for certain when Jill realized she has only one life. Hers served up so many moments that would make anyone pause and take stock. At the birth of her only daughter, Meghan; when losing her husband Rodney, or finding love again and building her life with Mike; after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992 and, again, in 2005. It could've been one of these moments - or it could've been while strolling the aisles of Costco or floating in the pool with Mozart and a good book. It could've been during the frigid cold of a Bills game or in the kitchen making Christmas cookies with Meghan.
But it doesn't much matter when precisely Jill's second life began, but that she lived it with tremendous love and compassion and joy. When Jill was diagnosed with an incurable brain tumor this summer, she told Meghan she was at peace. That her wish was for her remaining time to be days of quality, not quantity. Her family saw to that, making it possible for Jill to experience the life she loved, alongside her family and friends, until her final days.