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Maurice Sendak leaves a legacy

Maurice Sendak, widely considered the most important children’s book artist of the 20th century, who wrenched the picture book out of the safe, sanitized world of the nursery and plunged it into the dark, terrifying and hauntingly beautiful recesses of the human psyche, died on Tuesday in Danbury, Conn. He was 83 and lived in Ridgefield, Conn. The cause was complications from a recent stroke, said Michael di Capua, his longtime editor.

When the book first came out, parents and reviewers criticized the scary images. Now they are a beloved addition to many family's libraries. A movie was made about the book a few years ago, although it did not achieve great recognition. Did you see it? Was it what you had imagined as a child in your head?

If you're an author, what one book will you most be remembered for? What is it you'd like to be remembered the most for? My father-in-law's funeral was this past weekend, so I'm especially feeling introspective lately. Our time on this earth isn't very long, and of course, none of us knows how much time we have left. What things are most important to you in life? Family? Relationships? Career? Legacy? Stuff?

After we attended the funeral of my husband's sweet father, the family went to the Huntington Library to take pictures and see beautiful artwork and gardens to bring peace to our hearts. The Huntingtons left a wonderful legacy of artwork to share with the world. The museum and gardens were filled with admiring, grateful patrons.

Most of us would readily say that we'd love to leave the world a better place by having been in it. The question is "How?" Find what you're passionate about and bring about good in that realm. Share. Give. Serve.

The books I love to read the most are the ones that aren't purely for entertainment, but ones that leave me truly feeling enriched, inspired, and motivated to do and be better myself. I try to write those kinds of books too.

What can you do today to leave your stamp on the world and make it a better place?

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