Remembering Dotty

My mother’s death in 2014 ended her decades of close friendship with Dorothy (“Dotty”) Licht. But I was fortunate enough to enjoy a long-distance correspondence with this amazing lady in the years that followed.

At the age of 101-1/2, Dotty still lived alone in her marital home in Providence, Rhode Island. Unlike my mother, who had Alzheimer’s Disease during her final years, Dotty remained super-sharp and aware of everything going on around her throughout her life. She checked email every day. She used an iPad. She even followed social media and frequently commented to me on my Instagram posts.

Her intelligence and sense of humor shone through every time she wrote to me. So I’ve chosen some of my favorite Dotty quotes to share with readers.

We have the two worst candidates for [deleted] : A former first lady of Rhode Island, Dotty’s husband Frank was a two-term governor from 1969-1973. She never lost interest in the political scene. Prior to the 2022 election, she wrote: “On politics. They along with some other politicians keep me amused by bashing their opponents all day on TV.”

On great grandkids: “I now have five great-grandchildren, all adorable or we would send them back.”

On caregivers: “I have aides every morning and most dinnertimes. They are not good cooks, but you can’t have everything.” (Dotty employed aides only five hours a day, functioning independently the rest of the time.)

On aging: “Finally I get to write you. It isn’t that I am so busy but that I am so slow (age) and that I am creeping along to meet Methuselah. I just can’t understand how I got to live so long and how long I will go on. Sounds like a song title, doesn’t it?”

On what excitement looks like at 101: “Gee whiz! One of my aides decided to quit on five minutes’ notice last Monday morning, so it has been nerve-racking to get another. The substitute took me out this afternoon to a big market where I am a customer. She insisted that I mount the little motorized cart. I must say that I came close to killing people, but I yelled “new driver” at them all and finally escaped!  Just thinking about that adventure makes me seasick.”

That was the last email I received from Dotty, on April 1st, 2023. I must sadly report that this great lady died of complications from Covid less than a month later. I’ll close with a final favorite—and appropriate—signoff from another one of Dotty’s recent emails:

“Gotta stop now. Hope I didn’t wear you out.”

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