By K. Hecht P. Berman, A. Hosack
I am so lonely. My only friend is in prison. The Carsons don’t even know I am writing him; they wouldn’t like it but….. I don’t know why I am writing him. He has hit me so many times. The Carsons say I am not a punching bag. But,..I am so lonely!
Claire realizes her bus stop is about to come up. She wipes the tears off her face and slowly gets off the bus. Looking around what is now “her neighborhood” she looks at the beautiful trees and well-cared for houses. It is such a beautiful place and she lives here. Soon, she will graduate, and everyone expects her to live in an apartment with Davy.
I don’t want to move out. I will be so much lonelier without the Carsons!
Claire starts to cry again. She stands still trying to control herself. The bus has driven off like it does every day. She is just someone who got off it. No one important. No one has noticed her needing help. Everyone else on the bus was tired and just wanting to be home. No one knows their lack of attention supported her idea that she was a waste of space.
Davy has been watching for her out the window. He doesn’t know she needs help, but he does see her just standing there on the sidewalk. He rushes into the kitchen and pulls on Mrs. Carson hand. He tells her he wants to go out and grab his mommy in a big hug. They open the front door and Davy takes off like a bullet. Mrs. Carson walks slowly towards Claire, it’s a bad arthritis day. She has just reached the end of her own sidewalk when she sees Davy grabbing Claire around the knees in a big hug. Mrs. Carson breaks off in a big smile; she is too far away to see Claire’s tears.
Claire clutches Davy to her but she can still barely see through her tears. She strokes his hair and calls him “her Davy”. He looks up at her, wipes a tear off her face, and asks why she is crying. She kisses his cheek. Claire knows she must be Davy’s strong mommy, so she tells him she caught her hand in the bus door as it closed. He grabs her hand and gives it a big kiss and then looks up, “is it all better now?” She hugs him again and tells him he has fixed it just right.
Davy takes her hand just as Mrs. Carson arrives. She notices Claire’s tears but doesn’t say anything. Davy tells her that his mommy hurt her hand, but he fixed it with a kiss. “Love is the best medicine,” Mrs. Carson says as she takes Davy’s other hand and they walk home. Claire acted like everything was all right all through dinner and tucking Davy in for bed. But, then Mrs. Carson took her hand and said they needed a family meeting once Davy was asleep.
Can Claire tell the Carsons how lonely she is?
Many people besides Claire are lonely. Studies have shown that loneliness and social isolation can lead to a 30% increase risk for having a stroke or developing coronary artery disease. Jullianne Holt-Lonstad can tell you much more about loneliness if you go to an article by her at: https://www.apa.org/members/content/holt-lunstad-loneliness-social-connections
You could take a personal advocacy step to help end loneliness in people you know. Take a moment to consider whether you have any relatives or friends who might be lonely. Put it on your schedule to call them for five minutes once a week.