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Friendships through the Years

by Nanci Levy | Jan 10, 2019

Gloria and Mary editedDeveloping and maintaining friendships is critical throughout our lives. Many of us remember our first best friends, someone who we played with on the playground in grade school, sat next to at lunch, explored the deserts or woods with, and maybe got into a little trouble with. Friendships in middle and high school got a bit more complicated for some, as everyone’s hormones began to rage at that age. Those who attended college had the opportunity to begin lifelong friendships there, sometimes dear friendships were made in the workplace, and people who married and had children may have made some dear friends through their children as their children began developing their own friendships.

Something special also happens when residents move into a senior living community. This is another point in time, a change in life, when there is a great opportunity to develop new friendships. When new residents move into Handmaker they are entering a new environment, and everyone has their own way of adjusting. Almost always the new resident feels more settled once friendships develop. If you walk into the Handmaker Rubin Dining room, you will notice most people sitting with others. Often times you will see that the same people sit with each other, sometimes even at the same table, for most every meal. When a new person moves in, you can see them scanning the dining room looking for a familiar face to sit with. Because we have so many activities to participate in, residents have so many opportunities to get to know one another and develop friendships. Our residents are very welcoming, and it is really heartwarming to watch these friendships blossom.

At the end of this week, one of our dear residents, and dear friend to so many, will be moving to Nashville, Tennessee, to be closer to her family. She has lived at Handmaker for over four years, and is so mixed about moving. “I know that I want to be closer to my family, but how am I ever going to replace this?”, she says as she gestures around her at all of her friends. She has made some deep friendships here at Handmaker, and says that she is worried about whether she can make such good friends in Nashville. “It will just not be the same.”

Gloria comes regularly to the Friday night and Saturday morning Shabbat Services, and is our “Kohen” every Saturday morning. We had a gathering to say goodbye to her last week, since it was likely her last Shabbat service, and the outpouring of love from the Handmaker community was tremendous. While we all understand that she wants to be closer to her family, and most here would probably make the same choice, it doesn’t make saying goodbye any easier. She will be missed.

That is what happens when you make friends, sometimes you have to say goodbye. Fortunately in this age of technology, there are many ways to keep in touch, and we are counting on Gloria to learn how to use “FaceTime” on her iPad so that we can see her smiling face every once in a while, at least on a screen. And as we tell her, if she does not like it in Nashville, we will be right here ready to welcome her back!