It was my 70th birthday and I was still doing medical transcription at Associated Neurologists. It was also not quite a month since my daughter, Peggy, had been killed. It was the custom at the office in those days for the whole staff to gather for everyone’s birthday and “surprise” them with a birthday cake, singing “Happy Birthday to You.”

On that day as I was typing away Gloria and Ginny appeared at the door of my office, cake in hand, and said quietly, “Happy Birthday, Dottie” – just the two of them. I immediately put my head down on my typewriter and started to cry. Glo said, “Are you OK, Dottie?” I answered, “How can I be OK?” Glo said, “I don’t know how you get up in the morning,” and Ginny’s face began to crumple as if she were about to cry. It is all still crystal clear in my mind. This sort of thing seems to etch itself forever in the memory. They were so kind and gentle that it still brings a tear to my eye.

I had my little cry and we all went down to the meeting room and enjoyed cake. Some twenty years later I remember with gratitude that thoughtfulness.