A SPOONFUL OF FRIENDSHIP… WHY SHARED MOMENTS WITH A SENIOR ARE JUST WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED
By agoodwin on December 11, 2009
“50 years between us and we were girlfriends,” says Anne Goodwin when describing her friendship with Francina, an elderly woman she came across lending her assistance in a traffic accident. The encounter sparked a close friendship between the two that spanned over a decade until Francina’s death and inspired Goodwin to write Stay For Lunch.
Suffering from a compound fracture of the leg, the accident could have set Francina, in her 80’s at the time, back considerably health wise. However, her friendship with Goodwin kept her in great spirits and out around town.
Research has shown that friends and social activities keep seniors healthier. A recent study of 2,500 adults ages 70 to 79, published in the journal Neurology, found that those who were able to stay mentally sharp were also those who exercised once a week or more, had at least a ninth-grade literacy level and were socially active.
Goodwin and Francina’s friendship was filled with fun outings that kept Francina young in spirit. Goodwin recalls one particular outing at Goodwin’s Dance Hall Jam that she and her husband (a musician) host annually. Delighted that Francina was able to attend, she later learned Francina was there despite two crushed vertebrae. Always up to their next adventure, Francina’s zest for life inspired Goodwin.
“I was always so impressed by Francina’s continual engagement in learning and participating and contributing regardless of what ‘stage’ she was in life,” remarks Goodwin.
While Goodwin was inspired by her friendship with Francina, the relationship was definitely a two-way street. Suffering from Pneumonia, Francina once, almost embarrassingly, admitted to Goodwin she felt depressed. Goodwin’s reassurance that her case of the blues was not only normal, but justified gave Francina peace of mind and on the road to recovery.
Goodwin and Francina’s friendship spanned nearly a decade until Francina’s passing at the age of 96. In Francina’s letters to Goodwin, she expressed how not only do their visits with one another “do her good”, but also how she counted on the next one. But to Goodwin, Francina is her angel.
“Has anyone touched me more? Very few as much, or as gently, so profoundly,” says Goodwin.
About the author
Anne Goodwin is a marketing communications professional working for corporate, civic and professional entities. In addition to raising 2 boys, Goodwin also is partner with her husband in a remodeling/general contractor business.
Stay For Lunch is available for purchase at pleasurablepausepress.com (signed copy) or amazon.com
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