Good Neighbors

A few months ago on this blog I urged you to seize the day.  (See Time and the Taxi Man Jan 5, 2017)

I thought of those words recently at a memorial service my husband and I attended for our neighbor David who had died suddenly a week before.
For decades we and David shared the same East End Avenue address.  By Manhattan standards our building – with 16 floors and 200 apartments –  is relatively small and the happy consequence is that we know a great many of our neighbors,  some of whom have become close friends.  But I much regret that although we’d known David for years we hadn’t become more than acquaintances.

We knew David was a physician,  loved opera, and loved to cook.  But at the memorial we learned so much more from friends and colleagues who eulogized him.

We learned that David was also an internationally known medical researcher and teacher,  enormously respected by fellow scientists around the world.  Several came from abroad for the service and many others sent moving tributes.

David’s niece and nephew spoke of their uncle as the glue that held the family together,  and friends spoke about the memorable dinner parties he hosted,  trips they made together,  his keen intellect and wit, and his love of art and music.

Leaving David’s service,  Danny and I recalled the last time each of us had seen him.  I remembered meeting David in the lobby one morning about a week before he died,  and stopping to chat about politics,  movies and travel.  As we parted I remember telling him,  “Let’s finally make that dinner date,  we have so much more to say.”

It was apparently later that very same morning when going to get our car Danny saw David pulling out of the garage.

David stopped his car to say he’d just seen me in the lobby and that we had promised to make our long-overdue dinner date.

“Yes,  let’s do it soon!”,   Danny said waving as David drove off.

But we never made that dinner date,  and alas we had so much more to say.

Dana Susan Lehrman



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