Elderly loneliness is a huge issue thousands of senior citizens face every day, and this heartbreaking note written by a 90-year-old woman to her loving neighbor really casts a light on what it’s like to be 90, and feel really lonely. After reading this, you’ll definitely ball your eyes out, but you’ll also be totally inspired to do what you can to help those who might be feeling lonely near you. Fair warning: you might need to keep an extra box of Kleenex while you read this story.
YOU’VE GOT MAIL
A story about an old lady who wrote a heartfelt letter to her neighbor, Marleen, recently went viral, touching hearts and sending shivers down people’s spines, all the same time. One day, Marleen Brooks came home to an unusual handwritten letter. She opened it immediately and was happy to learn that someone living close to her wanted to meet her. From then on, things got emotional FAST!
WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?
It was an elderly lady called Wanda who lived at the other end of her street. Wanda wasn’t in great health. She needed to be on oxygen and also suffered from congestive heart failure and osteoporosis, among other illnesses. After all, turning 90 doesn’t come easily!
MAKING A CONNECTION
In this moving handwritten note, Wanda had a message for her neighbor Marleen: “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.”
WANDA WAS ALL ALONE
One of Wanda’s sons had recently passed away, and the other two lived far away. She felt incredibly lonely so, bravely, she decided to reach out to a neighbor. After all, where would a 90-year-old person be able to find a friend? It’s not like they’re attending college, or taking a zumba class, right?
AN EVENING WITH CUPCAKES
After reading the note, Marleen got to work. She baked some cupcakes, went up the street to knock on Wanda’s door, and introduced herself. The two women then spent a lovely evening getting to know each other while emotions run deep.
THERE’S A REASON WHY
Marleen proceeded to talk to a KTVU News reporter when they contacted her, and she had a lot to say about the beautiful and emotional encounter. She said, “Wanda said ‘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.’”
THE SUN IF SHINING
Before she left that evening, Marleen made sure that Wanda knew that she could contact her new friend at any time. She told the KTVU reporter, “I’m sure Wanda and I will have some great times.” After all, who could say no to new friends, especially when your friendship literally means the world to them?
LIFE’S A ROLLERCOASTER
As well as making the local news, their story has been shared by thousands of people on social media who felt heartbroken by Wanda’s situation but inspired by Marleen and Wanda’s new friendship. It goes to show that loneliness is a state of mind, and there’s hundreds of folks around you who would love to make new friends. After all, aren’t we all neighbors in this beautiful world we live in?
SHE’S NOT ALONE
In the US, 8 million adults over the age of 50 are affected by isolation. A recent study in the UK discovered that over half of senior citizens over 71 live alone. That’s simply unacceptable, especially when they’re not just “alone” but lonely.
YOU CAN SHINE A LIGHT TOO!
Keep an eye out for neighbors who might be lonely. Even just starting a conversation with them on your way to the market will make them feel included, and could have a positive impact on their day. You never know who’s suffering behind closed doors. If they seem overly engageful, it might prove they’re in dire need of a good conversation. It might take up 10 minutes of your daily errands, but it might make a long lasting impact on someone else’s life.