Someone called me today, a loved one. She said she was lonely. But I am too far away to just show up on her doorstep and take her out so we can run the streets like school girls. I could hear it in her voice, the loneliness she tried to conceal behind laughter as she told me how she felt.
I will be where she is soon. I promised her we would go out dancing when I see her. Maybe a nice old school step joint, something sophisticated yet fun.
We continued to chat for a while about various things. I wanted to stay on with her, to let her know that I understand loneliness and I was in no rush to get her off the phone. I wanted to be present with her and allow her to laugh (allow myself to laugh) and tell her stories with the excitement of a child.
In a way, she saved me today. She reminded me that I too may one day be lonely again. Even more, if I live, I will one day be an elder. It was humbling and sobering. What will that look like for me, as my children go off to live their lives? Will they call me daily? Weekly? Will they take me out? Will they even want to spend time with me around a dinner table? Or will they be too busy to remember I exist until, like many children, they need something, even if it’s just moral support. I would give it, no doubt. But would always wonder if when the time comes and gray hairs are no longer peppered with remnants of black, but pure snow, would I still be relevant in the life of those whom I love?
Knowing the potential for the future leaves me wondering if loneliness could one day become my best friend, because all my flesh and blood friends have come and gone. And family has come and gone.
I can’t wait to see her. She’s sacrificed so much over the years. The last thing she deserves is to be lonely.