This week I read an article about the story of Adele Gaboury, a woman not unlike many of our neighbors.
“It can never be said that Adele Gaboury’s neighbors were less than responsible. When her front lawn grew hip-high, they had a local boy mow it down. When her pipes froze and burst, they had the water turned off. When the mail spilled out the front door, they called the police.
The only thing they didn’t do was check to see if she was alive. She wasn’t.
Police finally climbed her crumbling brick stoop, broke in the side door of her little blue house, and found what they believed to be the 73-year-old woman’s skeletal remains, where they had lain, perhaps for as long as four years. ‘It’s not really a friendly neighborhood,’ said Eileen Dugan, 70, once a close friend of Gaboury’s, whose house sits 20 feet from the dead woman’s house. ‘I’m as much to blame as anyone.
She was alone and needed someone to talk to, but I was working two jobs and was sick of her coming over at all hours. Eventually I stopped answering the door.’”*
How Introverts Can Have Lifelong Friendships
How sad to live 73 years on this planet, die, and no one around you notice.
It’s a little known fact that Billy Graham has worked with the same small group of friends for the past five decades. Billy was once asked the secret to success in life, and he answered,
“Build friendships with the right people and grow old together.”
Now, all of the people on Billy Graham’s team, people in their seventies and eighties, have built homes next to each other in the little town of Montreat, North Carolina.
It was said of the early church in Acts 2:46 that, “Every day they continued to meet together.” As an introvert that doesn’t sound too appealing.
But it does sound better than the alternative.
What would it look like for you to build friendships that lead to growing old together?
*Sally Jacobs, “Years After Neighbors Last Saw Her, Worcester Woman Found Dead,” Boston Globe