Suffice it to say that when I moved in with Dorothy, my friends were in shock. Most of them were planning to live in the more popular Washington Heights, whereas I had decided to remain in midtown Manhattan. Mostly, however, most of their astonishment was because I was 22, and Dorothy, or Mrs. Hilf, as I call her, was 95.
Since getting married, I’ve made some new friends; they are not quite like Mrs. Hilf – they’re only in their eighties. Before we moved to our current location, we lived down the hall from Mollie and Leah. For five years we shared in each other’s joys and bonded over tragedies. I borrowed onions and delivered chicken soup, and they played with my three-year-old daughter Leba and introduced her to the piano.
I continue to visit Mrs. Hilf most weeks, and try to bring Leba along with me when I can. If I can instill within my daughter a respect and admiration for our elders, perhaps she too will look to those before us for guidance and love. And when I see her greeting Mrs. Hilf with a hug and a kiss, I know we’re on the right track.
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