People who need people
Are the luckiest people in the world
We’re children, needing other children
And yet letting a grown up pride
Hide all the need inside
Acting more like children than children.
Do you remember this song?
Barbra Streisand sang it in the movie Funny Girl in 1964.
I heard a comment on television yesterday that triggered the memory. Betty White said “When you get old, you’re going to want company, but not a company.” And it smoldered around in this crazy brain of mine. It’s usually January and February when I go on writing tangents, but I suppose it’s the rainy weather we’re having.
I thought of all the many ways we spend our lives, working, running a company, struggling for the next job that will bring home more income for our families, raising our children, cleaning our homes, cooking meals, and so forth. And then there’s the holidays with all the decorations and preparations, all of which are important and, for the most part, we enjoyed the journey except for the aching feet and back that usually accompanied all that effort to make it perfect for our families.
Then life makes an abrupt turn, we get older, illness rears its ugly head, a loved one dies, or we have to move to make our life easier. We discover that all these things we used to do are not quite as important as they were. The traumas of life have taken a toll on us.
For some of us, life becomes solitary at that point. We see friends, play Bridge, Canasta, dominoes or golf, enjoy a hobby or two, meet for lunches or an occasional dinner out, and participate in church activities, but somehow the evenings hang heavy and lonely and silent. We leave our homes and return with no one waiting or even noticing that we’ve been away. We miss the sweet companionship of talking about the day, the program on the television, and laughing at silly stories. Somehow, the holiday decorations and preparations lose some of the excitement they used to bring to our hearts.
This is what Betty White’s comment triggered—it’s people we need as we get older, it’s sharing life on a day-to-day basis with someone. That’s what I have found at my new home in MacArthur Hills, friends to do life with. Yes, we live in individual villas or apartments, but we’re not nearly as alone as when we were isolated in a large empty house that once had been filled with love and laughter.
I can walk out on my front porch and see a friend across the way and they smile and wave and the loneliness lessens. And I love the front porches, but that’s another story for another day. I can leave in my car and wave at neighbors and someone actually knows I’ve gone someplace. And when I miss dinner, someone says “We missed you last night.” It’s the little things in life that bring cheer to our hearts!
It’s a different lifestyle, but for me change has been a way of life. (I know I’ve mentioned this before, but it just seems worth repeating.) I tend to call the big, the major changes, chapters of my life. I figure I’m now in Chapter Seven! Now seven rings a bell in my nit-picky brain … seven symbolizes completeness or wholeness and perfection. For example, God created the world in six days and declared it good. By the seventh day He had finished the work He had been doing; and on the seventh day He rested from all his work. God blessed the seventh day and made it holy. Hmm m, resting sounds pretty good right now—and I definitely like the sound of entering a blessed time!
As a writer, I’ve always thought it would be incredible to go to one of the many “Writing Retreats” I’ve seen advertised across the United States, to be able to bury myself in writing, and not cooking and cleaning. And this is what I’ve discovered I now have—my very own special retreat, where I can become truly immersed in writing and not have to worry about food! There’s dinner and friends waiting at the end of the day—
Even though the lifestyle we were used to has changed, or the person who filled our heart, soul, and life is gone, or we’ve retired from a job we valued, we still have the need for people. I am blessed to have found a community of friends living close together, who can share dinners in the evening, talk about the events of the day, and laugh a little—or a lot!
So here’s a thank you to new friends for the sweet welcome …
And hugs to my old friends for their love and support …
And to the many helpers who make this possible …
Here’s to friendship and the pleasures of a special life on which we have embarked …
May our days be cheery and the evening meal filled with conversation, fun and laughter …
May each of you find joy in living, fun in celebrations we didn’t have to plan but are invited to enjoy, such as the Italian Dinner with candles and Chianti, the Pajama Party serving breakfast for dinner, Friday afternoons Happy Hour with wine or cokes and conversation, and Oktoberfest with brats and beer and pretzels and Little Brown Jug on the accordion!
And, dear friends, I suspect more fun times are coming!
After all, Halloween is next week!
Costumes…Hmm m? Why not!
Thanks for your post, Betty. I am so thankful God has given you this community. As you said so well, we all need people!!! Carla >
Thanks Betty. You captured my feelings and thoughts. Mac Hills gets better with each day. Thankful!
So glad you like your new home!
This is such a nice post! A little homage to the stages of life. I especially like how you named this stage of your life Chapter 7 and likened it to the 7th day in the bible. You have done all your hard work, mama! Time to rest and observe and enjoy. I’m really glad to hear that you are enjoying your community so much. It is most definitely the right place to be!
What will you be for Halloween?? I’ve got a good idea for you. Text me! 🙂
So true. People really do need people. When you reach a certain age and degree of disability, you’re stuck at home and even on Social Media find your friends are disappearing, but it’s nice to make new ones.
People directed me to you when I was wondering if I really should think of myself as a novelist or maybe approaching dementia
. Thank you, dear Betty, for your encouragement. My book, The Silver Flask, has now been published and as you know when you love to write, the next one is well into its 150th page.
Thank you so much for letting me know –I’m thrilled for you. I look forward to reading it. I saw a post on Facebook from Pam about it. Congratulations! My second book was quite delayed, but I’m settled now and am close to halfway through! And having lots of fun!
Keep writing! Life is what we make it — and when we find joy in what we are doing, life becomes special.