I met Mara the summer before 6th grade. Her family had just moved to the neighborhood where I lived in Merrick, NY. Mara's father, Herbert, was an appliance salesman with Sears. Her mother, Hilda, was a housewife. Mara and I became good friends right from the start. Mara loved to read, and so did I. We also both liked to cook. Mara was a dreamer and longed to explore the world, but her young life was cut short at age 26 by a hit and run driver, who struck her while she was biking through south Florida. I am saddened to learn that Mara's dad passed away one year before her death, and that her mom, Hilda, passed away six years after writing to inform me of my friend's death six months earlier. I will always remember the good times I shared with Mara and her family. They were wonderful people.