In early 2013 we had a yard sale. I guess since we had just moved in about 6 months prior neighbors thought it would be a good time to check us out. One of those neighbors was Ms. Margaret (i changed her name for privacy purposes). Ms. Margaret is an older women in her late 70’s. She introduced herself and told us that she was widowed. She also said that at times she is lonely. My heart always breaks when I see older people alone.
Over the past year I kept telling my husband that I wanted to take the kids by her home and say hi. I figured that these two smiley faces would brighten anybody’s day. So a couple months ago I went by and reintroduced myself and my two little ones. She seemed genuinely happy and pleasantly surprised.
Ms. Margaret went on to tell me about the neighbors she liked and didn’t like. She asked about my family and told me about hers. She said she designed the plans for her home when it was built and couldn’t see herself leaving.
She just wanted to chat. So I let her.
Today the kids and I went and took her this plant pictured above. Again she was surprised and welcomed us in her home. The living room was a little cluttered with papers and knick-knacks but very warm. The kids and I sat down and and she got up and went in the other room to get something. When Ms. Margaret returned she had a few old toys that she gave to my kids. I told her that she didn’t have to give them anything, that we simply wanted to give her the plant. She insisted. At this point my kids are wondering around her living room fighting back the temptation to touch. Of course they spotted the little candy dish that you can find in the home of most older people. I allowed them to each have a soft mint which made their day.
Ms. Margaret told me how she has been running around because both of her children recently had hip surgery’s. Then she told me to guess her age. I undershot on purpose so not to offend her. She chuckled at my answer and said she was about to be 80.
Then she said, “Not bad for an old woman like me, huh.”
I acted shocked at her age and asked if she had any big birthday plans. She said her kids would probably take her out to dinner. Then she mentioned how much she likes the banana nut muffins at Perkins. I took a mental note. Again Ms. Margaret just wanted to chat. She went from the repairs that she was about to have done on her home to how she has gone up to city hall to get more street lamps on our street.
I politely said we had to go but wanted to make sure she had my phone number in case she needed anything. Ms. Margaret was gracious and gave me hers. The kids thanked her again for the toys and said bye. I like to think we made her day.
Do you have any older neighbors? If so, just take the time to say hi and perhaps listen to them chat. I have always enjoyed sitting and talking to my elders. I have lost my grandparents and I would give anything just to hear their voices again. If yours are still living then give them a call or drop by and spend time. If you were older and alone I am sure you would like someone to spend a little time with you.