At 90 years old, Wanda was feeling isolated and very lonely. It’s a feeling that is all too common for many elderly, who outlive their friends and may not have family to look after them.
Wanda knew she needed social interaction desperately, so she took matters into her own hands. She wrote a note and placed it on the door of one of her neighbors – Marleen Brooks of San Francisco, California.
Wanda’s note was a simple, heartfelt plea.
The note 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 said that when she read Wanda’s note it made her “heart sad” but “on the bright side it looks like I will be getting a new friend.”
Marleen went over to Wanda’s home with a friend the next evening to introduce herself and she brought along cupcakes.
Afterwards, Marleen wrote to Frank Somerville of KTVU News to tell him what happened.
She’s such a sweet lady!
And she was over the moon when we came over.
‘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 has 3 sons, one died last year of cancer.
The other two live far away.
She’s 90 and and is on oxygen and has congestive heart failure, osteoporosis, among other ailments.
We brought her cupcakes (didn’t have enough time with work to make the banana bread).
I also made sure she knew she can call us at anytime and that I’ll be back to spend time with her!
I’m sure Wanda and I will have some great times.”
Since sharing her story, Wanda’s letter has been shared by hundreds of people on Facebook.
“I love this story,” Frank wrote in response. “And I’m so happy for Wanda. But as I said in my first post, 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. I know it would mean the world to them. And who knows, maybe you’ll make a new friend.”
This is wonderful advice. Also consider volunteering at a local senior centre or seniors living facility. There are many ways to reach out and make a difference.
Marleen said that she also shared her story as a “reminder that there are a lot of lonely people out there. Especially elderly people.” She added, “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?”
It’s heartwarming to see people like Marleen taking the initiative to spend time with Wanda and be her friend.