Two Years of Tears
“I spent two years crying all night. For two years I was very lonely. But then I made up my mind that I had to do something about it.”
It was the unrelenting loneliness that Jeanne Marie Braund, aged 91, couldn’t bear when she moved from Toronto to Georgetown. “One of my daughters lives here, but otherwise I didn’t know a soul,” says Jeanne Marie of her move. “I knew there was no going back to Toronto, but it was very difficult for me.”
Like many seniors, Jeanne Marie moved closer to her daughter as she required more help with everyday tasks. The move was far more difficult than she expected. She left behind good friends, and as a woman who loved to entertain, the loss of her social circle was devastating. “My daughter has been very good to me, I could not ask for more. But she has her own busy life, and I know I can’t rely just on her alone.”
Jeanne Marie reached out to our Friendly Visiting program and was matched with Annette, an Acclaim Health volunteer.
“My afternoons with Annette are too short,” says Jeanne Marie, beaming. They get together twice a week to cook, shop, play cards, and talk politics. “The days Annette doesn’t come, I miss her terribly,” says Jeanne Marie tearing up.
United by their shared love of good food, Jeanne Marie can now rely on Annette to get her cooking fix: together they discuss recipes and Annette often brings her something to eat on the afternoons she visits. Its practical assistance as well as friendship.
Jeanne Marie is grateful for Annette, saying “I would love to repay her somehow.”
“You do,” states Annette. “You keep me company.” Annette continues, “We enjoy our time together. We laugh – she can be pretty silly – and we have a good time.”
Jeanne Marie jumps in, “It’s a beautiful thing.”
Annette agrees, saying “I wish we’d met years ago. We’re really good friends and we’re going to stay friends no matter what.”
Jeanne Marie agrees, “She’s my friend for life.”