Leon and Hortense Auerbach
Leon and Horty with their granddaughter, Laura, in approximately 1988 or 1989.
Hortense Auerbach wrote this epilogue after returning from a trip
to England. Her son and his wife had bought a lovely old Victorian/
She exhorts readers to "Cherish your time together!"
Leon had a massive stroke in 1981, from which he recovered with no physical problems. He retained all of his mental facilities. The following year, he retired, too, and we spent three days a week doing volunteer work at the N.I.C.D. [National Information Center on Deafness at Gallaudet University] and at the NAD. We also went on a few trips with friends to Mexico and elsewhere. Then, in 1979 and thereafter, his health declined, but we continued our volunteer work. It was after a day of volunteering at the NAD that Leon fell, as we were preparing to leave, and suffered a heart attack and went into a coma, from which he never awoke. He died in the hospital on March 19, 1991. An end to a remarkable life. I am always meeting former students who tell me what a wonderful teacher of math and a compassionate professor he was.
I remained in our home and continued my volunteer activities for a year after Leon's death, but decided I needed to make a drastic change in my life. I moved to New Hampshire and bought a two-family home in Concord so that my youngest daughter, Susan, and her husband could live next to me. I have no social life up here, to speak of, but continue to keep in touch with the friends I 'left behind me' in Metro DC. My side of the house underwent a complete remodeling so that it is "handicap accessible" and I expect to end my days here, God willing. I keep busy with gardening, walking and needlework in addition to trying to read all the books that I possibly can!
As for advice from my 80 years, I would strongly urge young married people to cherish their time together . . . who knows what 'tomorrow' may bring! To quote my favorite short poem:
[NOTE: The poem cited above by Hortense Auerbach was written by Robert H. Smith. Titled "The Clock of Life," the poem was written and copyrighted in 1932 and in 1982. Here is the correct version of this poem:
The Clock of Life
The clock of life is wound but once,
To lose one's wealth is sad indeed,
The present only is our own,
Thanks to Jack Duncan, for the Estate of Robert H. Smith, for bringing this to our attention.--Gail Hyde, 9/17/02]
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Department of Research and Teacher Education
National Technical Institute for the Deaf
Rochester Institute of Technology
52 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY 14623-5604
Dr. Susan Foster
Copyright 1999 Rochester Institute of Technology