When my friend Joanne was totally paralyzed by a stroke, I wanted to do something to make her life better, if only a tiny bit. I decided to write her a monthly letter. Every month I wrote her at least a three- or four-page letter, telling her what I had been doing and adding anything interesting I could find from popular culture or gossip about people we knew. I told her about my mother's grim but sometimes darkly humorous descent into dementia, and my various attempts at stand-up comedy. I complained about the weather, told her about my chickens, and described trips I took to Cuba, London, and Scandinavia. I hope she enjoyed my letters.