Meet Lilie

 

Meet Lilie

Meet Lilie ~

Happy, Busy, Upbeat

Long lives inevitably include loss, but how it's experienced and overcome depends in large measure on attitude. Lilie, a warm, sparkling-eyed resident whose smile could melt a snow drift, has the kind of positive attitude we could all stand to emulate. 

Despite the loss of her beloved parents, an adolescent brother, a young married daughter, and, in 1982, a caring husband, Lilie says emphatically, "Yes, I've known great sadness, but there is a good ending." Her surviving children - two successful sons with lovely wives - and her grandchildren and great grandchildren are endlessly attentive and shower her with affection. "I adore them all...and they return it," says Lilie.

When Lilie reminisces about the events, homes, and circumstances that have shaped her world, she states, with no hesitation, "I feel like I've had a good life." Her early family history is typical of other first-generation Jews, whose parents fled hardship and oppression in Europe to establish new beginnings in America. Lilie's parents departed Poland in 1920, arrived here via Ellis Island with two youngsters, Sally and Meyer, and promptly settled into Manhatten's Lower East Side, where Lilie was born on Election Day of 1921. Lilie's father, a deeply religious and observant Jew, worked as a presser in the garment industry while her mother managed the household.

Adhering to her mother's practical advice, Lilie trained at New York's Drake Business School to become a bookkeeper. In 1946, she eloped to DC with a childhood friend, Irwin, after romance began to bud at a party thrown for him upon his return from wartime service in the Pacific (Irwin carried a torch for Lilie the five years he was away). The couple opened a small grocery store, "Miles Market," at 10th and C Streets, but their efforts came to a quick halt when they were compelled to sell the store and return to New York to care for Lilie's recently widowed mother.

Joyous, productive years fortunately ensued for Lilie and Irwin as they worked (she as a bookkeeper, he as a cab driver) and raised two children in their comfortable Riverside Drive apartment. Then the unanticipated occurred: on the heels of her mother's death and a restorative trip to the mountains, Lilie discovered, at age 43, that she was carrying a third child. "An act of God," affirms Lilie with a humorous nod. With teenagers and a newborn, a decision was made to relocate their household back to DC, this time to live near Lilie's sister Sally. They moved to Silver Spring and Irwin worked as a civil servant for the Federal government until his retirement. 

Today, Lilie is supremely content at the Hebrew Home and grateful for the level of care she receives. She joins bingo games, takes art classes, is a member of the "Red Hat" Club, participates in the resident chorus, and has made many wonderful friends. Stating that her life has been filled with blessings, Lilie's enthusiasm and upbeat attitude are nothing less than contagious.  

 

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