My landlady passed a few days ago. She was crossing the street and was hit by a car. I'm sure many would find it odd that the death of my landlord is actually a serious emotional blow, but this was a relationship that went beyond simply paying rent every month.

My roommate and I each wrote a note that we passed along to her family. This is what I wrote, and even then I don't think it truly does her justice.

"Every time I would talk to Mary, she would apologize profusely as if our conversation was robbing me of precious time. She never needed to. I enjoyed our chats. The five minute ones about how my career was progressing; twenty minute chats about nothing; the two hours she spent visiting with me and my family during my first Christmas in LA.

She just wanted to stop by, give us a bottle of wine, and wish us a Merry Christmas. But my Dad, being my Dad, had her sit down and try his homemade potato pancakes. Next thing we knew, two hours had passed. She excused herself, not wanting to intrude any longer. She could've stayed another two hours, and we wouldn't have minded. Afterwards, my parents commented that I was lucky to rent from someone like Mary.

Mary was that little bit of hope when we thought our grand LA adventure would end before we'd even been in town for a week. We were looking for an apartment, and thanks to Mary, I have a place I can call home."

Goodbye Mary Sepikas. You will be missed.