I’ve been talking and emailing daily with The Dowager Duchess. Things continue to improve in her co-op. On Election Day, The Duchess was determined to vote come hell or high water (well, I suppose it was despite hell and high water). Her building had electricity provided by an emergency generator but no elevators were yet running. So, The Duchess decided to walk down all 16 flights of stairs (and back up again) to cast her vote. Her next door neighbor was already in the lobby. He phoned her and said he would walk up 8 flights to meet her and walk back down with her so they could go out to vote together. (If he weren’t Buddhist, I’d be granting him sainthood.) To her surprise, when The Duchess left her apartment an elevator light was on. She pressed the button and the elevator immediately arrived. There were a few people inside so she joined them, figuring if she got stuck at least she’d have company. She didn’t get stuck and she caught her neighbor before he walked up eight flights of stairs. The Duchess and Good-Karma-Neighbor went to my high school a couple of blocks away to vote. The Duchess was shocked to see the impact of the storm from ground level. Today, the Kid Brother was there and we Skyped before they headed out for lunch.
|MY VERY OWN HAIR.|
Another friend of mine from high school, whom I haven’t seen since late 1971, now lives a rural life quite a bit north of NYC. We knew and liked each other in high school, taking some of the same art classes, but we never socialized outside school. My primary social group was not from within my own high school. Clearly, I missed out on a lot.
Rosalinda and I re-found each other via Facebook in late 2009. She still has the old family home in my mother’s neighborhood and she and her husband Ray drove down early in the week to inspect the damage. It was not good news. In the midst of their responsibilities, concerns, and personal heartbreak, they walked up 16 flights of stairs Monday afternoon to visit with my mother. They had never met and the Duchess enjoyed every minute with them. She said she was so grateful for the wonderful company that she thinks she spent the entire hour talking and didn’t give them much opportunity.
My mother has nothing but good things to say about the volunteers and emergency workers all around her. She has been stunned by the generosity and kindness of people who were strangers to her before this event. Rosalinda, Ray, Bonnie, Howie, my amazing friends, my mother’s neighbor’s, a few members of my family and Jerry’s, my blogging friends, to name but a few, have overwhelmed me (and my mother) with their kindness. This week (and this life) would have been empty without them. You are all an inspiration.