Old Faces on New Friends

Every morning,
the “Walkers” powered past my house,
merrily chatting away as they exercised. 

Trim and fashionable in their cute outfits,
and bright athletic shoes,
this cluster of women was oblivious of
my longing to be included in their lives.

New to the neighborhood and
new to parenting,
I was desperate for a friend.

Still dressed in my pajamas,
with my hair in a wadded pony,
I wanted to holler out the window,

“Hey! I’m lonely.
Would you be my friend?”

Figuring that strategy might make them walk even faster,
I devised another plan to intercept them.

Many evenings after supper,
I put my baby in his stroller and casually traced their route
hoping for a chance meeting that
would get me invited into their circle.

Instead, I encountered Bob,
an elderly man with thick, white hair and
sparkly blue eyes.

“Who’s this big boy?” he asked, tickling my baby.
“This is Jake, he’s 9 months old,” I answered.
“Hello, Jake, would you like a sucker?”

And so it began.

Bob introduced us to his wife Marie,
a sturdy woman who loved cats and kids.

It wasn’t long before we were regular visitors at their home.

She’d bring out a wagon of wooden building blocks and
we’d watch Jake play as we talked.

I learned that Bob and Marie had lost a 5 year old child to leukemia,
collected Hummel figurines on their travels to Germany and
built a successful sign company together.
They were full of great wisdom and entertaining stories.

I met many of my elderly mature neighbors
on our strolls around the block.

Patient Women.

Women who took me in and settled me down
when I locked myself out the house.

Women who sat with my sleeping infant
so I could pick up my preschooler.

Women who let me borrow their car
when mine wouldn’t start.

Women who shared their time,
recipes and
wisdom with me.

Women who invited me into
their kitchens and into their hearts.

I never did get invited to join the “Walkers”.

But, if you’ve spent any time with me,
you know I’d rather have dental work than exercise,
so maybe that worked out for the best after all.

Friends come in all
sizes, shapes and ages.

You never know where you’ll find them or
how they will effect your life.

Don’t overlook the friendships of the
generation above or behind you.

Now that silver hair,
crow’s feet and laugh lines
are part of my physical identity,
you can be sure
I’m looking for women to pay forward
all the comfort,
hospitality and council
that was showered on me.

Where do you find your
best advisors and new friends?

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.


  1. Karen Herteg on November 11, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    Thank you Robin. And how true that is. I have 3 WISE WOMEN in my life .My mom, 86, my mother-in-law, 89, and my friend(neighbor), 83. I AM BLESSED!
    And I tried your crock pot Apple sauce! DELICIOUS!..THANK YOU!
    BLESS YOU ROBIN “REAL GOOD” TODAY(and your family).

    • Robyn Dykstra on November 12, 2016 at 1:32 am

      Hurrah! Glad your surrounded and outnumbered by women of wisdom and that you liked the applesauce. 🙂

  2. Maryanne Bartell on November 11, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    Wow, I love this posting from you, Robyn. When Les and I moved to Grand Rapids over 28 years ago, I only knew a few families. Thank God for Greg & Jen Praniewicz, Fred & Pam Hollis, and Fred & Deb Mateer. I also wanted to belong to this community. It took over four years before I felt that. Am grateful I met you via Jen. Since then we’ve grown deep roots and relationships with many others. Am always looking for ways to include others into our community.

    • Robyn Dykstra on November 12, 2016 at 1:31 am

      Maryanne, I have enjoyed your company and friendship immensely.

  3. Twana Dean on November 14, 2016 at 11:45 pm

    Oh Robyn, when my children were young, I visited the seniors from my church once a week. I had 2 daughters in elementary school and a son the age of 2. My young son and I would go visit these lovely people and we were so blessed by them!! I haven’t done that in many years. I now care for my granddaughter while her parents work. I should take her and visit our “new” seniors! Thank you so much for reminding me of those precious blessings so long ago!

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