Memories of my Sister


Donald Gottehrer

After learning of Marilyn's passing, my thoughts were filled with memories of our lives together. From our childhood years to our teens, then as students, adults, and finally as professionals.

As children we were responsible for many household chores. Marilyn would sweep the floor and wash the dishes, while I was responsible for washing the pots and pans and taking out the garbage. The real crisis occurred when a very large salad bowl needed to be cleaned, and we had to determine whether it was a dish or a pot.

When Marilyn was 8 and I was 10, we went to a family picnic in New Jersey. After the festivities were over, we saw a pickup truck parked on top of a hill. I  cajoled Marilyn to jump into the truck with me, and somehow we loosened the brake, and the truck started rolling down the hill towards a stone bridge. I told Marilyn to jump off the truck (or perhaps I pushed her), and then I jumped, and the truck went on to smash into the bridge and was demolished. Since then for some reason, I have been labeled a lousy driver.

When I was 13 and Marilyn was 11, our favorite activity was to travel together on the subway all by ourselves to the 1939 World’s Fair in Queens. We would visit the exhibits of all the world’s nations – but primarily the ones where they offered free samples.

After our Father died, Marilyn went to Nursing School, and I to Ohio State School of Optometry. Marilyn, Betty, Lillian, and other student nurses lived together. They had many get-togethers, parties, and good times. I was invited to most events or else I invited myself – I just couldn't resist the bevy of cute nurses.  After Marilyn graduated and became an extremely competent administrative nurse, I eventually moved to Arizona and Marilyn to Michigan. We spoke often and visited several times.

After Marilyn became ill, we continued talking by phone. She teased me about the Phoenix Suns and I teased her about her beloved Pistons. No matter how ill she was, she never complained to me – she just told me that things were "so so". Then she would tell me how well Larry took care of her. After all the many many months of suffering, she is now at peace