In eighth grade I had an experience that I will never forget. I had to do community service for my Religion class. I contacted the Senior Citizens Organization who put me in touch with Lisa Treuse. She needed someone to do food shopping for her. I walked up four flights of stairs to ring her doorbell. An eighty-nine-year-old woman answered the door with a very thick German accent. We talked for a half hour, getting acquainted. Then she gave me her shopping list. That was the beginning of our friendship.
Every week she looked forward to me coming and chatting. She showed me pictures of her family, and at that point I realized she had no living family. As the weeks went by I realized that she no longer wanted me just to go shopping for her, but rather be a part of her life.
I learned so much about her experiences, from her being a pediatric nurse in Germany to how her father sent her and her sister to America to start a new life. She also told me about how she was unable to have children, which she spoke of with such sadness. Her sister and her spouse had died many years before, which left
her alone in what seemed a miserable and lonely world. She always stressed the value of friendship because that was all she had left.
Recently she fractured her hip and realized she could no longer live by herself. She decided to move to a nursing home. So, last week we said good-bye, and she promised to keep in touch.
I realized after four years of her friendship what she means by "Friends are very important in your life." The years I have known her have made me come to the conclusion that there must be thousands of
Mrs. Treuses out there, and a little kindness is all that's needed to start a friendship. fl
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.