They say growing old is not for the faint of heart. Its kind of silly really, because nobody has a say in how long they live, but its true that outliving everyone youve ever loved is a lonely place to be.
Marleen Brooks learned firsthand how growing old isnt all that its cracked up to be after coming home to a note from her 90-year-old neighbor, Wanda. It completely wrecked her.
The elderly woman, who lives down the street from Marleen, wrote her a note asking if the two could be friends because shes lonely.
Would you consider to become my friend.I’m 90 years old- live alone.All my friends have passed away.I’m so lonesome and scared.Please I pray for someone.”
Just thinking about how much life shes lived and the things shes seen is amazing. It breaks my heart to know that she doesnt have someone to share her time with.
It broke Marleens heart too.
Came home to this note from a lady that lives down the street from me. Makes my heart sad, but on the bright side it looks like I will be getting a new friend.
Wanda didnt just get one new friend, but two. Marleen and her best friend went over to the neighbors house that evening with cupcakes in hand. The three women talked and got to know each other.
Shes such a sweet lady! And she was over the moon when we came over, Marleen said. Wanda told me, I hope you didn’t think I was stupid for writing you, but I had to do something. Thank you so much for coming over. I’ve lived here for 50 years and don’t know any of my neighbors.
Can you imagine living somewhere for 50 years and never finding the community that God created us to be for one another?
Marleen says that she and Wanda will be seeing a lot more of each other, and shes sure theyll have some great times.
Wandas loneliness isnt uncommonespecially among elderly people in our communities.
We were never created to live in isolation, but to connect and grow in community with one another. Theres no age limit on how long we should be there for one another. Yet so many people over the age of 50 struggle to find the friendships we all long forwhich are crucial to our overall well-being, physical and mental health.
Touched by her newfound friendship with Wanda, Marleen launched a Facebook group called Pen Pals for Seniors, which aims to empower, enhance and improve the quality of life for the elderly within our communities.
The news anchor who shared Marleens story encouraged others to reach out to their neighborsyoung or old.
There are so many others out there who are lonely just like Wanda. I would ask that maybe you consider knocking on their door and saying Hi.’ He continues, I know it would mean the world to them. And who knows, maybe youll make a new friend.
We cant control how long we live, but we do have a say in who we live this life with. Everyone needs friends and a place to belong. My prayer is that we could all find that, and also be that person to another today.