It was Mary Ann who told me, “Find yourself a good woman,” and I found Jane. She was the Californian who’d guided me around her sister’s wedding, who looked like spring when I felt like winter was closing in. Incredibly, I got a letter from her the day after Mary Ann’s memorial service. She was coming to New York and could we have lunch. She didn’t know that Mary Ann was dead.

The letter changed my life. Three and a half years later, Jane and I were expecting our first child. We married and settled in California.

Even though I knew that death had made it possible, I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to be a husband and a parent again. Jane and I had three daughters over five years. I felt like I had reinvented myself; I felt like I had broken free.

—Rock In A Landslide

Kelly Nowels