It was the end of another season.
“What would be my new chapter in life”, I asked myself. The loneliness of Spring then Summer was still looming. The season ahead was to be festive and family oriented. Tired, I made up my mind and became a group therapy participant at a local, neighborhood community center. I thought I could meet a friend or some friends with the notion of giving support to one another would be a sufficient starting point for socializing.
So, there we were, all women, all filled with dispair. Initially, it felt really strange orienting myself amongst the group.
They were complete strangers that I had no knowledge of. I Must admit, some of them looked quite familiar. I eventually learned that we were all lonely and that each one of us, had no male companion in our lives. The group was a mixture of ages and ethnicities. There was a huge, tall coffee maker and the coffee steaming from it filled the entire room with a delicious, bold coffee smell. And right next to the coffee maker was condiments, paper cups and an assortment of pastries that anyone would want to bite right into
On my first attendance, I opened up introducing my self as, Tillie Evans, that I was at the ripe old age of 78 had been a widow for 5 years. I told the group of my longing for children and grandchildren and that my late husband Bruce and, I had none. Throughout the years, Bruce and I enjoyed the hobbies of bowling, and. playing bridge. Sadly, bowling alleys went out of business, our closest friends divorced, moved away and many of them died.
Soon I realized that I was the oldest here. And, as I went on and on with the missing links of my life, my sorrows and shortcomings, that is when other women opened up and shared their own and similar circumstances.
We were actually women with a void in our lives. Victims of spousal abuse, no families, foster home survivors, life trauma, spouses in prison, widows, hard on luck, abandoned-untrusting, victim of handicaps and voiced their sentiments.
Twice a week we would meet and each time became more comfortable. Our group was so blessed. Before and after each meet we always prayed. Nearly everyone in the group was a great cook and contributed to the weekly coffee potluck. So Being a great cook, too, I started bringing in an appetizer platter assorted with meats and cheeses on crackers and toasties. The group grew even larger as weeks passed.
Gisela became my best friend. I was twice (decades) her senior. What we had in common was that we were both widows having unfulfilled maternal instincts. Just as me, she never had children. And too, Gisela’s husband died five years previous, in a plane crash on a business trip to Geece. He was an optical salesman on his way to a convention.
All of the young women in the group became very fond of Gesela and I. As so many of them needed all kinds of help. Gisela and I became matriarch-mentors (mommas and grandmas) to them. We started babysitting for the young mothers who were looking for jobs. The community center added on licensed child care center. Gisela and I started a very successful catering business. Gisela and I combined our living quarters and business onto her property lot. My home became a rental, rented by four of our group members who in turn did just as Gisela and I, helpi