While most people hope to live as long as possible, the reality of growing old is actually quite frightening. That’s what Marleen Brooks of San Francisco, California realized when she came home one day to find a note on her door. The note was from her neighbor, a 90-year-old woman named Wanda, and it was a desperate plea for help.
Her simple note addressed to “Mrs. ?” 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 utterly heartbroken. She took a picture of the note and shared it on Facebook with the message,
“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.”
I wanted to post this as a reminder that there are a lot of lonely people out there.
Especially elderly people.
If you know someone like that in your neighborhood maybe consider going over to their home and saying hi.
Maybe bring them some cookies too.
I guarantee that you will make their day.
But at the same time you may also make a new friend.
How great would that be?
Marleen introduced herself to Wanda the following evening, and she brought cupcakes. Wanda was absolutely delighted for the company and told Marleen “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.”
Wanda doesn’t have any family nearby either. One of her three sons recently passed away from cancer and the other two live far away. Suffering from congestive heart failure, osteoporosis, and other illnesses, Wanda struggles to leave her home. With no other options, she made a desperate plea for help and it paid off.
Marleen’s story quickly went viral after it was shared by Frank Somerville with KTVU. Together, he and Marleen hope to make more people aware of the easily overlooked challenges faced by elderly citizens trapped in their own homes. “She’s such a sweet lady! And she was over the moon when we came over,” Brooks wrote to Somerville on Facebook. “I also made sure she knew she can call us at anytime and that I’ll be back to spend time with her!” Brooks told Somerville. “I’m sure Wanda and I will have some great times.”
Wanda isn’t the only person suffering from loneliness. All it takes to reduce her pain is a pleasant conversation over a few cupcakes.
Do you know anyone who could use a surprise visit from a new friend?