Lillian, who at 90 recently passed away in her San Francisco home, was like many women, she devoted herself to her family. Her career was secondary.
But at the age of 39, with her daughter Marci no longer dependent on her, Lillian began the next stage of her life.
She enrolled at UC Berkeley and four years later became a college graduate and eventually in 1971, she received her doctorate in sociology.
In addition to sociology, her studies took her into psychotherapy and she became a marriage and family counselor.
But most notably Lillian became an author. In 1972 her first book was published, and for the next 40 years Lillian was an avid writer whose writings attracted a wide following.
Her books included "Women Of A Certain Age: The Midlife Search for Self." (1979) dealing with stay at home mothers who are confronted with emptiness when their children grow up and leave.
And "Intimate Strangers: Men and Women Together" (1983), with case studies about how the differences between the sexes effect their views on sex, childrearing and work
One of her final books,"60 on Up: The Truth About Aging in America" (2007) was published when Lillian was 83, and it is about the physical and emotional challenges of aging.
But Lillian faced many challenges. Born to Ukrainian Jewish immigrants in Philadelphia, her father died when she was only 5.
Her mother was illiterate and supported Lillian and Lillian's brother by working in the New York garment industry. But her mother felt Lillian as a girl was worthless, often saying "Girls shouldn't be born."*
"I was seven years old when, bewildered by her rage and hurt by her rejection, I began consciously to remove myself psychologically from the family scene."*
Lillian graduated from high school at 15, was married at 19 and a mother soon thereafter.
Ultimately what made Lillian so successful as a writer was her absorption of many often difficult lessons from her life and her ability to connect with the same issues facing many of her patients and her readers.
And one more thing that made Lillian so successful: She wrote from her heart.