Reaching out to avoid isolation

Gail Kates
Redwood Falls Gazette

What can I write or say others have not said or written before me?

What can I say or write about that most of us have not discussed at the grocery store or Walmart, to the point where we’ve heard all the opinions out there?

Everyone else, like ourselves, will believe their opinion is the most informed, the most logical, the most “moral” stand to be taken, and, for sure, we should be able to convince them to come over to our way of thinking.

I have had so many conversations with members of the Redwood Senior Center during this unprecedented time (let’s just broadly classify this as the “60 and over” crowd), and the one thing I take away from each one of them is, don’t worry.

Not that there isn’t cause for concern, caution, sensibility, etc., but, to hear that sentiment from this particular “vulnerable” group of people tells me an awful lot about them and about the generations after them.

It tells me that they are made of some much stronger stuff than myself and many in the younger ages.

There is, for one, a very strong thought that any control we may think we have in this life is laughable, and it’s best to leave any worry and concern about it to our creator.

Then there is the level of common sense I see in these friends of mine.

We can’t meet together? Well, that is very sad, and unfortunate, but that’s not going to stop them from meeting in smaller groups in various homes or “common” areas of apartments, etc.

After all, this is a really strong and resilient generation, the generation that realizes that they (we, as humans) need fellowship with one another…we need not to isolate ourselves. We need to build each others’ morale.

Do we need to play cards? Maybe not, but I have seen a game of hearts or pinochle or Farkle bring people together that would not normally “socialize” with one another. I have witnessed people put aside their differences or disagreements to just sit down over a game of cards and a cup of coffee (dessert too, of course).

So, it seems that we will most likely not be able to gather together at the senior center site before the beginning of the new year, but I certainly hope that if you can’t organize or be part of a small group meeting somewhere, you will at least reach out to me or someone else and not stay isolated.

I’d love to talk with you and have a “virtual” cup of coffee with you if that’s what you need.

I may be the “young-un” in this group, but my heart and my ear is just a phone call away, and don’t forget to call if you’d like Meals on Wheels.

– Gail Kates serves as the director for the Redwood Senior Center