I think it’s fair to say my mother June was loved. With adoring children, grandchildren, nephews, nieces, friends, boyfriends, and colleagues, it only took her 80 years to realize it. She started to pick up on others’ love only after my brother Daniel persuaded the whole family to tell her, “I love you” every chance we got. Even then it took years.

There’s nothing unusual about June’s slow uptake. If you’re like most people, you have no idea how much you are loved. But you are, and I can prove it.

Most of my life, I haven’t felt love easily. Intellectually I know, but in my…