Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Lady Who Visited

Miss Gladis M. Holman Hunt
by William Holman Hunt
1827-1910


My friend from England told me of the time she got married and moved away from her mother. For a long time, she suffered from  homesickness and loneliness. Fearing she might fall into deep grief and lose her health and strength, she decided to list everyone she had met or knew in that vicinity and call them up to see if they would receive her as a visitor, at their convenience. When she had some free time, she went to see someone on her list.

She made a regular habit of visiting, and found the pain of loneliness subsided enough that she could function throughout a day without the aching feeling of sadness.

Proverbs 18:24
A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

16 comments:

The Retro Farm Wife said...

Mrs. Sherman, this is such a great exhortation. I really have felt convicted about doing this myself (not that I am feeling homesick and lonely now that I'm married and 3 hours away from family.)
I have this irrational fear that I may get on somebody's nerves if I call them. I don't know why on earth I feel this way! :/ Nobody has ever treated me like that before. So, I default to thinking, "If they want to spend time with me, they will call me."
I need to get on the ball here and stop waiting for others and start initiating!
Thank you for this post! Happy Spring!!

~Angela

LadyLydia said...

Angela,

Why not send a note first to ask if they would give you a few moments of their time. That way, a person would get a note first and then a visit, two gifts. And you would be sending notes, an activity that might comfort you a little.

I know what it is to weep all day for your mother and father. I do it sometimes and I'm 60 years old. I have Skype but that's another problem, since I don't want to talk to them with a swollen face and red eyes from crying...so I put it off til i'm better looking ha ha ha.

Anonymous said...

It reminds me a bit of a line from a movie I like very much, "Now Voyager", starring Bette Davis. The Bette Davis character, Charlotte, says to Tina, a young girl who is as miserable & awkward around people as Charlotte used to be: "If you want people to like you, you've got to like people."

Brenda

Anonymous said...

That was very brave of the lady. I may try that if I can work up the nerve. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I recently watched the BBC production of "North and South" - a favorite of mine. As I was thinking about your post, Margaret came to mind and how she would take a basket to visit the people in her area. She was very gracious.

It surely would take courage. It's a different day and culture we live in, especially for those of us who have stayed at home all through the years, teaching our children, etc.

Any suggestions as to how a middle-aged woman (more the age of Mrs. Hale) might go about learning the art of visiting?

~Lynne

LadyLydia said...

Lynne, great subject for another post. I'm trying to post more often.

Rightthinker said...

Wow, what a wonderful way to take the first step at being kind and building friendships!

LadyLydia said...

If you are more home bound because of the care of small children or parents, or do not have a vehicle, why not send out cards asking people to call you to find out when they can come to see you.

Mrs. A. said...

This reminds me of when I was first married. I cried and cried from loneliness. But I didn't want to visit or even see people of my past.

LadyLydia said...

I hope to visit her again soon and find out more about the adventure she created when she couldnt stand it any longer and decided to call all those people.

Far Above Rubies said...

Such a wonderful reminder, Lady Lydia. Thank you. I often miss my family tremendously.

Anonymous said...

Lydia,

What a beautiful post. I suspect the present age naturally leads many to feel uncomfortable or awkward about calling upon others, or asking others to call upon them (note or no note). As our extended families have been whittled down in the West, and communities fragmented with so many out at work who 50 years ago would have been home next door, neighbourhood isolation has flourished. furthermore, nobody has inculcated a spirit of hospitality in the next generation, so we are caused to try and muddle it through for ourselves. Thank you for offering suggestions and giving support for those who find the thought of this type of hospitality truly frightening.

Lydia, my heart ached for you upon reading your loneliness and isolation from your parents, come out here, soon, sister, soon...

LadyLydia said...

Mrs. Eliot in Australia...you'll be shocked to turn on your computer one day and read my post "Blogging from Australia"...

LadyLydia said...

Lynne, certainly it is a subject worth looking into: how a middle aged woman can participate in hospitality. I like the idea of the basket type things. I thought about it today and experimented with my neighbor and left a basket with a pot full of tea and some food for a snack.. I told her I would return to get the tea pot and basket another time. I will see what she thinks about all of it.

Lynne said...

Lydia,
I'm very interested to know what your neighbor thought of your kind gesture. Our nearby neighbor is an elderly retired career woman who became a widow just over a year ago. She has phoned my husband a few times to chat and recently when she spoke with him, she invited us to stop by one day and see her new kitchen, which we plan to do after my husband returns from a business trip. She is a smoker which makes it difficult to stay for an extended visit. What do you think is a proper amount of time to stay? In the BBC production of Cranford there was mention of a specific amount of time deemed "proper" but I can't remember the specifics.

LadyLydia said...

I have to play it by ear in regards to how long to stay. My neighbor also is a heavy smoker and I know how long to stay before I begin to cough and cannot converse. I sat down for a minute or two and told her I wanted to leave so she could enjoy her tea and treats...since it was only for one person, i really needed to go before the tea got cold.

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