My neighbor, a stranger: ‘Take care of one another’

By HANNAH WALLACH

When I was younger, Mrs. Hill was always a warm presence in the neighborhood. I never would have guessed her husband called her “Mount Misery” behind closed doors.

“I felt like I lived in a time warp, and it often felt extremely overwhelming. And sometimes it felt easier to just want to sit in a corner and cry,” said my neighbor Marianne Hill, mother of five.

PHOTO BY HANNAH WALLACH Hill laughed as I took her picture. “I think about my kids, and I think about their future and hoping they have a good one,” said Hill. “I think about G-d everyday, and I think about cleaning my house, because that doesn’t usually get done.”

PHOTO BY HANNAH WALLACH
Hill laughed as I took her picture.
“I think about my kids, and I think about their future and hoping they have a good one,” Hill said during the interview earlier in the week. “I think about G-d everyday, and I think about cleaning my house, because that doesn’t usually get done.”

She cited hereditary obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression as her greatest struggles in life.

Hill said she “worked through it” for her family and is not embarrassed to be medicated because she “feels a lot better.”

“It’s nice to wake up everyday and be able to get through the day and enjoy it without the weight of junk mail in your head.”

Hill said she tries to be the best she can be, and her positivity makes it clear that she also tries to make the best of situations; Hill told me she uses the nickname Mount Misery as her email address “because if [my husband is] gonna give me a nickname like that, I’m gonna do something with it.”

Hill’s advice? Don’t judge people before understanding. To me, the opening of Bill Withers’ “Lean On Me” says a lot about Hill’s attitude: Sometimes in our lives, we all have pain, we all have sorrow / But, if we are wise, we know that there’s always tomorrow.

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