As social beings, we often feel the need to be surrounded by people who care and love us. Therefore, the thought of being left alone in this world without the presence of your dear ones is heartbreaking. However, the truth is, many around us especially elderly people are enduring such circumstances. A 90-year-old woman who was sad with her lonely life decided to reach out to her neighbor. She wrote a letter that encouraged her neighbor to visit her and establish a relationship with her.
According to Scary Mommy, Marleen Brooks of Missouri was surprised to see a letter at her door when she got back home. The letter was from a 90-year-old woman who lived alone across the street. The letter said she was lonely and wanted Marleen to be her friend. It read, “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.”
Marleen was touched by the letter. She shared it with Frank Somerville, a news anchor at KTVU. He posted it on social media along with the details of the incident and a caption by Marleen. “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,” said Marleen according to the post.
The kind woman made a visit to her elderly neighbor that evening with some cupcakes. She discovered her name was Wanda. The elderly woman told Marleen about her family. She informed her that she had three sons, one of who died due to cancer. She also told Marleen that her other sons stayed far away. The elderly woman was on oxygen and suffered from many ailments including, congestive heart failure and osteoporosis. “I hope you didn’t think I was stupid for writing to 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,” told Wanda to Marleen.
Marleen told Wanda that she could call her anytime she wanted. She even updated Frank about their meeting. She told Frank, “She’s such a sweet lady! And she was over the moon when we came over… I also made sure she knew she can call us at any time and that I’ll be back to spend time with her! I’m sure Wanda and I will have some great times.” The news anchor updated Facebook users with the news through a post.
Wanda will finally have Marleen as her friend. However, this incident of loneliness is not unique. Loneliness and social isolation among elderly citizens are quite common across the country. According to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, isolation and loneliness are linked to a higher risk of mortality in adults aged 52 and older. They are also observed to have poor physical and mental health.