Investments Mom and Dad made:

Custom desks for me and Marc

Ten trips to Europe


Hand-painted bathroom tiles imported from Italy

Carlisle. The company. Well, just some shares of it. But they doubled. Mom wanted to sell. They tripled.

Mom says she got down on her knees. I can't really see her getting down on her knees. I can see her forcing Dad down on his knees. I can see her crying and screaming and feeling like she was already down on her knees even if she wasn't. But she says she got down on her knees, and I'm trying to tell you her story, so let's both just try to imagine it: Try to see her hair messy, and I think she'd be wearing an expensive silk blouse and her satin, pale-blue, striped panties. She was dressed like this a lot. Like she was in the middle of doing something that wasn't the thing she was doing.

When she did this, he said no. He said you can sell your half. She didn't sell. She thought of the shares as indivisible. She waited until Dad wanted to sell.

The company went bankrupt.

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