As I would turn down my block, on my way home from work, my Savta’s house would beckon, calling me in. Ascending the steps had me thinking that I was tired and hungry, that I would just stop in to say a quick hello, and bring some excitement into my Savta’s day. But as I would sit down next to her, her face would glow with a happy smile. Her eyes would sparkle as I told her about work and the activities I was involved in.
I know my job as a preschool teacher had a special place in her heart. She would often recount the story of how she became a preschool teacher, appointed by the Frierdiker Rebbe [Rabbi Yosef Y. Schneersohn of Lubavitch], after she married Rabbi Berel Levy o.b.m. Once, during a private audience, the Frierdiker Rebbe pointed to my Savta and said, “Un zi vet zein di lererin” [“…and she should be the teacher]. My Savta would fondly recount how her husband put his fingers to his lips, motioning for her not to protest the Frierdiker Rebbe’s instructions. As they left the private audience, she asked in shock, “Me? A teacher? But I don’t even know how to say good morning to the children!” My Savta would end the story with a smile, “Zaidy Berel said, ‘Don’t worry, I will teach you!’ and he did! No one believed that my five year old students were learning
As I would close her front gate and descend the steps on my way out, I would think about the way it felt to have made her day, and how it meant so much to her when I visited. I would think about how I just loved spending time with her. I miss her very much, but I’m comforted knowing that the time I spent with my Savta brought her joy and that I meant so much to her.